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May 25, 2020 2:54 pm

Israeli Minister Urges Twitter to Suspend Account of Iran’s Ayatollah for Hate Speech, Incitement

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avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a live televised speech marking Quds Day (Jerusalem Day), in Tehran, Iran, May 22, 2020. Photo: Official Khamenei Website / Handout via Reuters.

Israel’s new minister of strategic affairs and public diplomacy wrote an official letter to the head of Twitter on Sunday, urging him to suspend the account of Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei over his antisemitic tweets and incitement to violence.

In the letter addressed to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Minister Orit Farkash Hacohen wrote that the social media giant should “serve as a place which enables the free flow of ideas and opinions, but not of those which call for violence, antisemitism, or hate speech against a nation or its people.”

She pointed out that according to Twitter’s own Hateful Conduct Policy, users “may not promote violence against, or directly attack, or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, or religious affiliation” or engage in “calls for mass murder.”

Khamenei, Hacohen said, was “unremittingly abusing your platform by doing just that — without any enforcement or repercussions. For far too long he has been allowed to spread calls for physical violence and antisemitism on Twitter.”

She highlighted recent tweets by Khamenei that called for Israel’s “elimination,” described it as a “cancerous growth,” and said it should be “uprooted and destroyed.”

Furthermore, Hacohen noted, Khamenei has used his Twitter platform to support Holocaust denial and spread antisemitic conspiracy theories, as well as praise and promote terrorist groups, which Twitter strictly forbids.

Hacohen said to Dorsey, “I call on Twitter to act in haste and uphold its own Hateful Conduct Policy by immediately suspending Khamenei’s account, and ensure Twitter’s users will no longer be subjected to his hate speech or calls for violence against them on your platform.”

“Specifically, I demand the immediate deletion of his recent antisemitic tweets,” she added.

Read the complete letter below:

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