Legal Scholar's Defense of Israel's Air Strikes Removed By YouTube Fire and smoke rise above buildings in Gaza City as Israeli warplanes target the Palestinian enclave, early on May 18, 2021. (Photo by Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via AP)
By Brian Freeman | Tuesday, 18 May 2021 09:23 AM
A legal scholar's explanation about why he considers Israeli air strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip legitimate under international law reportedly has been removed from YouTube several times in recent days for violating the platform's "violent criminal organizations policy."
Eugene Kontorovich, an Israeli and a professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, appeared on RT supporting the legality of Israel’s air campaign against Hamas terrorists but, after posting the video, he received an email stating that he had violated YouTube's "violent criminal organizations" policy, which prohibits "content intended to praise, promote, or aid violent criminal organizations," The Washington Free Beacon reported.
Examples of violations listed include hostage videos, propaganda produced by terrorists, and terror recruitment videos.
Kontorovich on Tuesday tweeted: "My explanation of how Israel complies with int'l law in the Gaza conflict is BACK UP on @YouTube, share and watch before it is taken down a third time."
He also tweeted that he was "surprised" at the lack of support he had so far received from other academics.
Kontorovich told the Free Beacon that the decision by YouTube to remove his video several times shows the platform's bias and the outsized influence of anti-Israel users.
"YouTube is obviously in thrall to the most extreme anti-Israel actors who want to silence academic discussion of international law in relation to Israel's actions, so that the blood libels will not be refuted," Kontorovich said.
He added that allowing the video to remain on the platform isn't enough to level the public opinion playing field due to "a major campaign to portray" Israeli defense efforts "as illegal and in violation of the laws of war." Kontorovich said silencing arguments like his are "constraining Israel's ability to defend itself from Hamas."