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‘Youtube’ removes video tribute to Yaser Murtaja and other Gaza victims as ‘sensational’ incitement

Media Analysis
on 18 Comments

Check out this stirring anthem to freedom in Gaza. It begins with a Palestinian child saying “We shall overcome” and an image of Martin Luther King Jr. and then in many still pictures of the “Great March of Return” conveys the strength of the unarmed resistance to the blockade–including the killing of Yaser Murtaja, the Palestinian journalist who was one of six Palestinian journalists shot by Israeli snipers on April 6.

The imagery is by Sana Kassem, and the video was posted by Norman Finkelstein yesterday on youtube. The song is “Wings to Fly,” by Susan Boyle. The copy accompanying the video was simply: “A video dedicated to the people of Gaza as they struggle to break out of Israel’s infernal prison.”

Then Youtube took it down today, Finkelstein says, and he and Kassem have posted it now on Vimeo.

Youtube sent Finkelstein a notice that suggests that it regarded the video as a “sensational” and “shocking” incitement to “violence” or “dangerous activities.”

Upon review, we’ve determined that it violates our guidelines. We’ve removed it from YouTube and assigned a Community Guidelines strike, or temporary penalty, to your account…

If a video contains violent or graphic content that appears to be posted in a shocking, sensational, or disrespectful manner, it’s less likely to be allowed on YouTube. We also don’t allow content that’s intended to incite violence or encourage dangerous activities.

Finkelstein comments on the removal on his own site, and satirizes Youtube’s policy:

However, Youtube will continue to post videos like this:, [a stabbing attack in Rishon Lezion, evidently of a Jewish victim, in Nov. 2015]

and like this:, [the video concerns two Israelis killed by an Arab]

“Youtube wants visitors to know that this was not an easy decision to make.  However, after many hours of agonizing reflection we concluded that, whereas all lives are worthy, some lives are more worthy than others.

Sana Kassem is a Palestinian refugee who grew up in Lebanon and works as a Chemistry teacher in Athens. She has been working with Finkelstein for almost 10 years as his website master and administrator of all his social media. “I really hope that you use the story of this censorship to highlight the situation in Gaza. I feel that the international community (including myself) is not standing up enough to all the sacrifices of the brutally imprisoned people of Gaza,” she says.

For a time this video parodying Lorde’s song “Royals” to highlight Palestinian conditions was also barred by Youtube, a few weeks ago. Now it’s back up.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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18 Responses

  1. JWalters on April 23, 2018, 7:09 pm

    YouTube’s owner, Google, had a motto “Don’t be evil”, which they changed to a higher bar, “Do the right thing”.

    In this case Google is doing evil, not even reaching its low bar. But it shows us the deep reach of Zionists, who can even shut up the rabbis, who should be the keepers of the ideals.

    With MSNBC, PBS, etc under their control, it’s logical that YouTube would be next. Does anyone know what their exact leverage is? This is a monopoly that must be broken up.

    It’s a revealing travesty that America’s mainstream news reporters are not covering the blatant murder of their fellow reporters, even while wearing “PRESS” in HUGE letters on their jackets!

    • Maghlawatan on April 24, 2018, 10:11 am

      Sergey Brin and the other plutocrat who set up Google are Jewish. Google owns YouTube. So it’s prolly Zionist.

    • Misterioso on April 24, 2018, 10:11 am


      Re: “…the deep reach of Zionists…”

      Grant F. Smith: “An Overview of the Israel Lobby Agenda.”

      “Israel Lobby & American Policy” conference on March 2nd, 2018 at the National Press Club.

      “Grant Smith is the director of the Washington, DC-based Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep). He is the author of the 2016 book Big Israel: How Israel’s Lobby Moves America about the history, functions and activities of Israel affinity organizations in America. Smith has written two unofficial histories about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). America’s Defense Line: The Justice Department’s Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government and Foreign Agents: AIPAC from the 1963 Fulbright Hearings to the 2005 Espionage Scandal.

      “Smith’s reports about the Israel lobby appear frequently in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and news website.”

      • Maghlawatan on April 24, 2018, 10:33 am

        Increasingly the Jewish lobby has SFA leverage at the popular level. Loads of elites have been browbeaten into submission but Israel does nothing for ordinary people. 31000 americans died last year of fentanyl overdoses. Israel doesn’t care about americans

    • genesto on April 24, 2018, 12:00 pm

      “But it shows us the deep reach of Zionists, who can even shut up the rabbis, who should be the keepers of the ideals.”

      Which rabbis, may I ask, are being shut up? From what I’ve seen, and with very few exceptions, rabbis have voluntarily shut up or, in the case of the chief rabbis in Israel, have spewed out some of the most vile, racist diatribes against Palestinians that I’ve ever heard or read.

  2. Boomer on April 23, 2018, 7:15 pm

    It’s good that you report this development. It was predictable when this story appeared back in 2016

    Regarding recent events, see also:

    As is customary when Zionist rhetoric is concerned, reality is inverted. It is Israel’s actions that are shocking, dangerous, and an incitement. Worse than incitement to violence, they ARE violence.

  3. pabelmont on April 23, 2018, 8:17 pm

    Someone should tell youtube to identuify the people who flag these videos as “incitement” and to publish their explanations of in just what way the video is an ilicit incitement. If the other videos NF points out were “licit”, why were they “licit” and the one complained of was not?

    • ritzl on April 23, 2018, 11:40 pm

      Yup. Transparency, similar to, if not the same as, the Wiki editing record pages.

  4. ritzl on April 23, 2018, 8:50 pm

    Isn’t one of Google’s data-mining R&D centers located in Israel?

    Not that there’s any connection, of course.

    Oh wait, Google owns YouTube. So I guess there is a connection.

  5. ritzl on April 23, 2018, 8:52 pm

    Oh, and thanks MW for doing what you do.

  6. gamal on April 23, 2018, 11:40 pm

    you can’t or couldn’t get Shadia Mansours sho eli saar either which seemed a shame after Aheds slap,

    you can a still find it here

  7. Maghlawatan on April 24, 2018, 4:58 am

    090320 “I felt there was a lot of thirst for blood,” one soldier is quoted as saying. “This is the beauty of Gaza. You see a person walking down a street or path; he does not have to be with a weapon. You just have to see him with something, and you shoot him.”

    090320 He also described an incident in which a platoon commander ordered the shooting of a woman who was crossing a street close to a house used by Israeli forces: “Suspicious, not suspicious, I don’t know her story. what he did in the end was get the men on the roof and take her out. From that story, I felt it was cold-blooded murder.”

    Central to Israel’s defence of its actions in Gaza in 2014 is the claim that international humanitarian law (IHR) is inadequate and must be modified to accommodate the “asymmetrical”nature of modern warfare.

    The IDF allows no fertilizer into Gaza, nor chicken feed, very little fuel, no spare parts for the water and sewage systems and is increasingly cutting off supplies of electricity.

    Drinking water is increasingly untreated because of a deterioration in the water treatment system due to a lack of spare parts, creating the danger of a pandemic in Gaza. UNRWA is worried about malnutrition and seeing signs of stress in pregnant women, usually the harbinger of malnutrition. Undernutrition is widespread among children and adults.

    Collective punishment is forbidden by Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states, “No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed.”A “protected person”is someone who is under the control of an “Occupying Power of which they are not nationals.”

    April 2008
    Palestinian medical officials in Gaza say more than 100 Gaza patients have died since June after being denied permits

    • on April 24, 2018, 1:19 pm

      The message to the Palestinians is whether you fight for your rights or not you will be tortured – might as well fight – easier to look in the mirror.

      We always hear about the brave noble moral Israeli military who shoot unarmed innocents of all ages but rarely of the incredibly courageous freedom fighters who are enduring tear gas, drone attacks and sniper fire.

      • Maghlawatan on April 24, 2018, 8:06 pm

        I think it is turning towards justice, ya zalame.
        Zionism is too murderous to be sustainable.

  8. Lillian Rosengarten on April 24, 2018, 6:40 pm

    Horrible. I can’t stand what is happening in this country!

  9. echinococcus on April 24, 2018, 8:58 pm

    Speaking as a very low-consuming user (only occasional music), I’d have absolutely no problem boycotting You Tube and I’m sure even a relatively small boycott campaign would shake the bastards. Can’t the high-volume users switch to something else?

  10. guyn on April 25, 2018, 9:26 am

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