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Legislators Call On Twitter To Ban Hamas 486

An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from The Hill: "The past week's violence in Gaza has rekindled calls for Twitter to shutter the accounts of U.S.-labeled terror groups such as Hamas. Seven House Republicans asked the FBI in September to demand that Twitter take down the accounts of U.S.-designated terrorist groups, such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Somalia's al Shabaab. The letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller was spearheaded by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), who said Wednesday that the recent events vindicated the request. 'Allowing foreign terrorist organizations like Hamas to operate on Twitter is enabling the enemy,' [Poe said] 'Failure to block access arms them with the ability to freely spread their violent propaganda and mobilize in their War on Israel.'"
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Legislators Call On Twitter To Ban Hamas

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  • Re:Propaganda (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @09:43AM (#42086493)

    The U.S. courts generally accept that enemy propaganda isn't protected by the 1st Amendment during war.

    The U.S. is now in perpetual war. And the President / State Dept. / Congress say who the enemies are.

    And who said being in perpetual war isn't fun???

  • Re:Propaganda (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @10:10AM (#42086625) Journal

    They wouldn't even declare the 9/11 attack itself an act of war because that would mess up all the insurance policies which have act-of-war escape clauses.

  • Re:Hamas == monsters (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 25, 2012 @10:46AM (#42086767)

    Sounds unbelievably close to U. S. "Christian" fundamentalists/Republicans.

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @11:25AM (#42086987)
    I have quite a few Israeli friends; most are concerned with civil and social issues, not with military issues, and I am told that is basically what politics in Israel are like. There were major protests in Israel last year; they were over the price of food, the rent, etc. Israel is not terribly different from other countries: the people are mostly concerned with things that immediately affect them like the cost of living.

    Of course, most able-bodied Israelis serve in the army. Here, for example, is an Israeli soldier's view of what it was like in West Bank: []

    For what it's worth, I met many Israelis at an academic conference this past summer. I also met Egyptians, and my Iranian coworker was there with me. We all had dinner together, and there was no tension, no arguing about politics, none of that -- most of these people thought the situation was absurd and that the violence was unnecessary (the Iranian recently finished her immigration paperwork and will soon be a US citizen; the Egyptians were glad to have not been in Egypt during the revolution).
  • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rich0 ( 548339 ) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @12:02PM (#42087203) Homepage

    It is telling that even the Egyptians have been blockading the border with Gaza. Most of the arms are smuggled in my ship or by tunnels under the Egyptian border. It isn't just Israel which thinks that things have been getting out of hand.

    I remember back when people were complaining endlessly about the wall Israel was building and how it wouldn't work anyway. Well, until they started launching rockets it was actually working fairly well, and the rockets are killing far fewer people than suicide bombers sneaking into crowds were.

    The problem isn't unique to Palestine. I think a big part of the problem is that when people look to establish governments they tend to pick the same people who were the cell leaders of the resistance movements and all that. The issue is that people who are good at killing the enemy aren't always the best people to lead a lasting peace. It worked OK when people were throwing off European Imperialism because everybody involved was separated from mainland Europe by an ocean or two. It doesn't work as well when the people you hate are within easy reach. By the time countries like the USA had the power to really hurt countries like Great Britain, generations had passed and the wounds had healed.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @12:10PM (#42087255) Journal

    its because no other country would offer safety to a large grew of jews who would want to live there

    And somehow evicting Palestinians from land that Jews hadn't controlled for a thousand years was going to make the Jews safe? Apparently that didn't work out. You really want to offer the Jews refuge? Let them come here.

  • Re:Bullshit (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 25, 2012 @12:22PM (#42087323)

    +1. The OP argument is specious. Twitter doesn't provide any intelligence on Hamas. S if you're only reason for letting Hamas post on twitter is intel, don't worry about shutting them out: it's not a source of intel.

  • Re:Bullshit (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 25, 2012 @07:37PM (#42089753)

    The British Empire was selfconsciously modelled on the Roman Empire, which colonised Britain and laid the foundations for everything that followed. So let's make sure the Italians are paying their fair share.

    And the Roman Empire was indelibly shaped by its contact with the Greeks (who were fixated on opposing the Persians) on one side, and the Carthaginians on another, so Libya and, umm, the whole of the Middle East have their share of responsibility.

    And don't even get started on the Turks or the Mongols or the Vikings or the Chinese or the Zulus or the Egyptians or the Assyrians or the Babylonians or the Huns or - oh heck, just go play Civ and see the player list for yourself.

    Or we could accept that we are where we are, and finger-pointing isn't going to solve anything.

  • by EnsilZah ( 575600 ) <.EnsilZah. .at.> on Sunday November 25, 2012 @08:01PM (#42089841)

    Here's my perspective as an Israeli (and not a particularly nationalistic or right wing one):

    Hamas and their affiliates specifically target civilians.
    They shoot rockets at random into civilian population, they bomb buses.
    Last year there was a case where an anti-tank missile was shot at a school bus specifically marked as such.
    In another case last year two Palestinian men infiltrated a settlement and killed an entire family, they literally slit the throats of and eleven year old, four year old and three months old children.
    And when an event like this happens there is dancing and giving out of candy in the streets of Gaza.

    These actions have no military purpose, as far as I understand it they are motivated by hate, religious indoctrination and the need of groups like Hamas to gain prestige to perpetuate their rule.

    Now, on the Israeli side, rockets are shot into our civilian population and buses explode and the duty of the government is to protect its population, if a rocket launcher in operating from inside a civilian population that's unfortunate but to the government the safety of our population has priority over the safety of theirs, and if it's deemed that a high-level planner of attacks must be killed then an assassination will be planned to minimize collateral damage but you can't wait indefinitely.

    I won't deny that on the individual level you won't find soldiers who get off on the power trip of humiliating someone going through their checkpoint or maybe steal in iPod while going through a person's stuff but that does not express the values of the IDF and if they are caught they will be jailed and they will be expelled from the army.

    On the Palestinian side, if you perform a suicide bombing, if you're sitting in the Israeli jail for an attack, your family will receive a stipend, you will be considered a hero, there will be pictures of you on billboards and you will get streets and schools named after you.

    As for the Settlers, I think they're assholes, my friends who serve in the army and come in contact with them generally express the sentiment of 'Why do I have to come here and protect these assholes for their fucked up ideology?'.
    But except for very few cases their actions amount to vandalism at most.
    And these actions are considered criminal, there's even a special department in the secret service dedicated to infiltrating them, arresting them, expelling them from the territories an generally thwarting them.

    Now if you look at the numbers you'll see more the death ratio in every conflict heavily weighted towards the Palestinian side (due to their methods of attack being less accurate, our side having early warning systems, bomb shelters for every person) but I do believe that one side specifically targeting civilians with the other side trying to avoid civilian casualties doesn't make both sides morally equal.
    There's this quote that goes "if the Arabs lay down their arms there will be no more war, but if Israel lays down its weapons there would be no more Israel." .
    And while this is a pretty simplistic cliche that ignores historical, geopolitical and what have you claims in the region, I do believe that it is in essence true.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan