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June 28, 2016 12:51 pm

Moderator of Pro-Israel Facebook Page Suspiciously Removed — Then Reinstated After Outcry — Hails ‘Amazing’ Support From Followers

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Uri Silberman, administrator of

Uri Silberman, administrator of The Israel Network. Photo: Facebook,

Following the reinstatement of a pro-Israel Facebook page that was shut down on Monday, its administrator hailed the support of followers.

“The response I received was nothing short of amazing,” Uri Silberman, administrator of The Israel Network page told The Algemeiner on Tuesday. “Dozens of pro-Israel activists reached out to me and told me they had contacted someone of influence, or gave me the details of someone of influence to contact to help with the situation. Even after the page was restored, I was receiving messages from people telling me that they had contacted a source at Facebook.”

As reported by The Algemeiner on Monday, anti-Israel activists launched what Silberman said was a “coordinated attack” on The Israel Network after he posted a photo Sunday showing Israeli soldiers helping a lost Palestinian child. Within minutes, threats and aggressive comments, many of them antisemitic, began to appear.

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On Monday morning, Silberman was able to post to The Israel Network page as usual. He was later alerted by a page administrator, who received an error message saying that the page had been unpublished for violating Facebook’s community standards.

After issuing an appeal to the online pro-Israel community for help — which Silberman said “is much larger than I had imagined” — the report in The Algemeiner and other news sites called attention to Silberman’s plight. “I was touched by the sheer amount of people who contacted me and were angered that my page was shut down. The original post itself asking for help received 569 likes, 462 shares and 159 comments,” he said.

The Israel Network page was restored by Facebook on Tuesday. According to Silberman, the entire experience has taught him an important lesson about the cost of being a vocal pro-Israel advocate.

“I’ve recently had discussions with several people who are well connected in the pro-Israel advocacy community, and the same theme came up every time. What happened to me and what’s happened to others before, is not a question of if, but of when,” he told The Algemeiner.

“Those who love Israel and the Jewish nation are greatly outnumbered by those who try to slander us, which is the story of our lives. But, we have proven that as small as a nation as we are, we have survival instincts which are unique to us. And just like Israel has managed to not only survive but to succeed, so too must we learn to fight as a unit,” he said. “I am convinced we can overcome all obstacles the Israel-haters put in our path, and we must not shy away from telling our narrative, even at the expense of being silenced.”

Following a request for comment, a spokesperson for Facebook told The Algemeiner on Tuesday, “The page was removed in error and restored as soon as we were able to investigate. Our team processes millions of reports each week, and we sometimes get things wrong. We’re very sorry about this mistake.”

 

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