By: David Martosco
Without warning, Twitter suspended a series of three accounts owned by an Orthodox Jew from New York City Wednesday and Thursday, after one of them tweeted a cartoon depicting the Obama administration stabbing Israel in the back. The social media company refused to tell The Daily Caller if the cartoon was the reason it shut the accounts down.
Twitter also wouldn’t say why it hasn’t taken similar action against the terror group Hamas and its supporters for tweeting “Death to the Jews” and other threats of violence.
The suspended accounts, named @RealGazaPeace, @RealGazaPeace1 and @GazaRealStory, were all operated by 25-year-old Benjamin Reisman. “Social media sites have an awesome responsibility to keep to our right of free speech,” he told TheDC via email Friday.
He began tweeting this week with a single account, he said, adding a second and a third as Twitter canceled each one.
Only Reisman’s first account, however, tweeted the anti-Obama cartoon.
“Don’t worry Israel, Obama has your back,” Reisman tweeted Tuesday, linking to the image.
Many conservative American Jews have been critical of Obama for his positions on Israel, although the president captured roughly 70 percent of the overall Jewish vote on Nov. 6. His low-water mark may have come in November 2011 when an open microphone caught an exchange between Obama and France’s then-President Nicolas Sarkozy.
After Sarkozy was heard on the audio feed telling Obama that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “is a liar,” Obama replied: “You’re fed up, but I have to deal with him every day.”
Still, Reismann told TheDC that he “should not have sent” the cartoon. But he added that he worries Twitter is applying its rules unevenly in a way that favors Hamas.
Archival records from Topsy.com show that at least 12 other Twitter users tweeted the same message with the same cartoon. None of the 12 TheDC identified has been suspended.
Twitter refused to tell TheDC why it suspended Reisman’s accounts, or whether they will be restored. “We don’t comment on individual accounts,” Twitter spokesman Jim Prosser said.
Under the heading “Violence and Threats,” Twitter’s published rules advise users that they “may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others.”