Facebook and the Israeli Government Cozy Up
Facebook, in present-day Israel, has hired Jordana Cutler as its head of Policy and Communications. Cutler is a longtime senior advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and chief of staff to Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer.
According to the Alternative Information Center in Beit Sahour, Israeli Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Information Minister Gilad Erdan congratulated Cutler on her appointment, last week, at the Hezliya conference, an Israeli security and national policy meeting.
“There has been an advance in dialogue between the State of Israel and Facebook,” he acknowledged. He added, “Facebook realizes that it has a responsibility to monitor its platform and remove content. I hope it will be regulated for good.”
Cutler’s appointment indicates a burgeoning partnership between the Israeli government and Facebook. Considering Israel’s propensity to arrest Palestinians for Facebook posts and its endeavors to silence the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, such collaboration is cause for concern.
Since the popular uprising started in October 2015, Israel has arrested at least 150 Palestinians over Facebook posts it labeled as “incitement.”
The Israeli government allocated $26 million for 2016 to launch cyber warfare to “dismantle the infrastructure” of the BDS movement. The BDS National Committee surmises that Israel is be behind cyber attacks meant to shut down its website.