Israel is behind America's crusade against TikTok

TikTok's only crime seems to be its ability to amplify pro-Palestinian voices that have been censored and silenced for far too long in America

Israel is behind America's crusade against TikTok

The US House of Representatives' decision to ban TikTok is part of escalating trade tensions between the United States and China. It also reflects the growing concerns over data security for both nations and their citizens and the principle of reciprocity in such matters.

As tension between the countries continues to escalate amid a microchip and semiconductor war, the full implications of a TikTok ban, should it be passed into law, remain to be seen.

Congress passed the bill with an overwhelming majority (352 congresspeople supported it, with only 65 opposed) despite the Democrats' recognition of TikTok's power to rally its voter base. Joe Biden even recently created a TikTok account for himself in an attempt to court the youth vote.

Lawmakers argue that any popular platform or technological software operating on its soil should be subject to Silicon Valley's jurisdiction and the purview of US intelligence or the National Security Agency.

Historically, companies like Google, Microsoft, AOL, Facebook, and Skype, among others, have cooperated in data collection, manipulation, and sometimes hacking, aligning with US interests. However, TikTok doesn’t fall under this category.

Nefarious motive

However, beyond the bilateral tension between the US and China, the crusade against TikTok seems to have a far more nefarious motive: to crack down on pro-Palestinian sentiment.

The app has seen a surge of pro-Palestinian content being pushed since the onset of Israel's brutal war on Gaza. For every pro-Israeli post, there have been 54 pro-Palestinian posts, which have unnerved the pro-Israeli lobby in the US, which has, for decades, been largely successful at controlling the narrative.

The ability of youth to access social media partly explains the correlation between the youth and their more critical stance on Israel and American support for the Jewish state.

Social media, particularly TikTok, has successfully rallied the masses into action over Israel's war on Gaza. Protests against Israeli actions have swept the nation across state border lines, demographics, and different social justice groups.

Beyond the bilateral tension between the US and China, the crusade against TikTok seems to have a far more nefarious motive: to crack down on pro-Palestinian sentiment.

Some have been peaceful, while others have been disruptive, with groups shutting down airport terminals, closing bridges, or pestering politicians and disrupting their speaking engagements.

The app's ability to mobilise the masses into action has also hurt businesses seen as supportive of Israel.

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement has picked up steam since Israel's war, with companies such as Starbucks and McDonald's reporting huge hits to their balance sheets as a result of customers no longer buying their products.

Additionally, the student bodies of some university campuses across the United States as well have successfully passed legislation to ensure their universities divest from companies with ties to Israel.

Two months after Israel's war on Gaza, the hashtag #boycottisrael garnered approximately 340 million views on TikTok, while #BDS (boycott, divest, sanction) accumulated at least 3 billion views, as reported by The Washington Post.

In January, nearly half a million posts featured the #boycottisrael hashtag and 887,000 posts with the #BDS hashtag on Instagram.

Israeli lobby in overdrive

This, of course, has upset the pro-Israel lobby in the US, which has worked tirelessly and invested hundreds of millions of dollars into disseminating Israeli propaganda to control the narrative.

While the narrative in mainstream media has been largely controlled and viewed as having a pro-Israel bias, it hasn't been able to control the narrative on social media, as the videos coming out from Gaza of Israel's war crimes cannot be spun as anything else but.

Needless to say, Israel is increasingly losing the information war, and its reputation around the world has been severely damaged among the popular masses. It has since gone into overdrive to combat the firestorm of anti-Israel sentiment sweeping the nation.

The Jewish Federations of North America, alongside the ADL—one of the most influential pro-Israel pressure groups in the United States—have led a campaign to advocate for TikTok's ban in the country, as reported by The Times of Israel.

There has even been leaked audio of Anti-Defamation League (ADL) chief executive Jonathan Greenblatt freaking out because global youth aren't buying Israel's propaganda anymore.

Israel is losing the information war, and its lobby groups have gone into overdrive to combat the firestorm of anti-Israel sentiment that has swept the United States.

In the clip, he says, "The issue of support for Israel is not Left or Right. It's young and old. We have a generational problem."

The Jewish Federations and the ADL have actively advocated for the approval of the ban bill, reaching for their tried and tested playbook, which labels any criticism of Israel as antisemitic.

They defended the bill, accusing the app of "allowing the spread of antisemitism and anti-Israeli content." They emphasised, "Our community understands that social media is a major driver of the drive in antisemitism and that TikTok is the worst offender by far."

On her part, Nikki Haley made the absurd and unsubstantiated claim that "For every 30 minutes that someone watches TikTok every day, they become 17% more antisemitic, more pro-Hamas based on doing that."

The power of the pro-Israeli lobby is both overwhelming and undeniable. It forced Paddy Cosgrave, the Irish founder of the Web Summit in Barcelona, to resign after he said on 13 October 2023, "War crimes are war crimes, even when committed by allies." 

American politicians have become unnerved by TikTok's astounding success on its turf and their inability to regulate the content reaching the minds of the American youth, who have caught onto mainstream media's propaganda and are seeking diverse perspectives and, ultimately, the truth.

The Israeli lobby has become unnerved by the app's ability to undermine mainstream media, which has portrayed Israel favourably for decades despite its multitude of crimes and transgressions committed against the Palestinian people.

This coordinated attack on TikTok has sparked a fierce backlash, with constitutional experts and others decrying it as an attack on Free Speech. 

TikTok's only crime seems to be its ability to amplify pro-Palestinian voices that have been censored and silenced for far too long in America. Its crime is that it has shown the true horrors of Israel's crimes in Gaza for the world to see.

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