UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

YouTube accused of censorship over termination of channel that criticised UNWRA indoctrination 

UKLFI has written to the chief executive of YouTube to request reinstatement of a YouTube channel which demonstrated that United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools were promoting violence, antisemitism and extremism.

The account of the Center for Near East Policy Research (CNEPR), run by David Bedein,  was suddenly terminated by YouTube last week.

Jonathan Turner, chief executive of UKLFI commented:  “The censoring of these videos is an unjustified restriction of freedom of expression and information regarding the activities of UNRWA, contrary to the core values of YouTube. This censoring is all the more the serious at the present time, since states that contribute to UNRWA are currently considering whether to renew its mandate and, if so, on what terms. It is therefore particularly important right now to demonstrate to decision-makers and the public what is happening at UNRWA schools and other activities, in order to ensure that correct decisions are made that will stop this indoctrination.

 By restricting the visibility of CNEPR’s videos, YouTube risks contributing to a continuation of the promotion of violence, antisemitism and extremism.”

CEPR received no warning from YouTube before the suspension of its account.  UKLFI has told YouTube that it has acted wrongly and in breach of contract by suspending CNEPR’s account and demanded that it be reinstated without delay.

UKLFI pointed out UNRWA schools educate over 500,000 Palestinian schoolchildren. The effects of indoctrination at these schools are profoundly damaging to the students and to peace and stability in the Middle East.

For years, UNRWA and other UN bodies, states and NGOs have denied or ignored these problems. As a result they have continued, resulting in further violence, casualties and deterioration of the prospects for peace.

CNEPR therefore sought to demonstrate the existence, nature and consequences of the indoctrination by including footage of it taking place at UNRWA schools and activities in their videos. But this was all done in context so as not to shock or disgust or encourage the commission of violent acts. On the contrary the aim was to stop the encouragement of violence. The videos complied with YouTube policies.

The videos can be viewed HERE