The Israeli Ambassador to NATO and the European Union, Haim Regev, has rejected an EU push to have Hamas atrocities censored online.
Authorities in Brussels have demanded so-called “illegal content” relating to the Hamas terror attacks on Israel be stripped from the internet. The European Commission’s self-styled “digital enforcer”, Thierry Breton, is threatening Big Tech firms with “consequences” if they do not comply.
Speaking to Brussels Signal, Regev rejected the push to have what he called Hamas war crimes censored. He said that while such footage was frequently upsetting, it was important that people could see what was happening in the region.
“While we understand that the content is disturbing and very painful to watch, especially for us, we believe the world needs to see the truth and to know what atrocities took place in Israel,” Regev said.
The ambassador said it was for this reason that official Israeli Government accounts online have been uploading some footage and images from the conflict.
“The public needs to understand that Hamas is even worse than ISIS,” he said, adding that Israel was in possession of content depicting “even more horrible things that happened which we do not post”.
“What we are posting is partially censored and with approval of the family members. We are all united in the need to share with the world the brutality of Hamas.”
Big Tech bosses can “no longer hide” from the European Union’s censorship drive, said European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton. https://t.co/n5zmn07Prs
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) October 17, 2023
Regev’s rejection of online censorship stands in contrast to recent EU efforts. Although vowing to be an ally of Israel, the bloc has been taking active measures to strip content relating to the conflict from the internet.
Leading the charge is Breton, who sent numerous threatening letters to Big Tech companies recently demanding they prove they were implementing censorship rules outlined by the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA).
“The bosses of these platforms can no longer hide, at least not in the European Union,” he said, insisting that each platform had a “responsibility” to censor content that Brussels does not permit.
Major platforms have been quick to respond to the threats, with both X and TikTok insisting to the EC that controls were being implemented on their sites.
“X is committed to transparency, safety and the successful implementation of the DSA and will continue to take all appropriate steps to that end,” said the CEO of X Linda Yaccarino.
The swift response is not unexpected, with firms found to be in breach of the act potentially facing fines of up to 6 per cent of their global revenue, as well as being completely banned from the EU internet.
Elon Musk’s X has kowtowed to Brussels after the European Union’s censorship tsar Thierry Breton demanded a clampdown on “illegal” content linked to the Hamas attack on Israel. https://t.co/aGhCnmwCsZ
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) October 12, 2023