Israel Accuses Twitter of ‘Double Standard’ for Flagging Trump Tweet but Not Iranian Leader Khamenei’s Tweet Calling for Genocide of Jews

Ayatollah Khamenei (Reuters)

A Twitter official on Wednesday defended the platform’s decision not to flag tweets by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei calling for violence against Israel, suggesting that such speech is “commentary on political issues of the day.”

Ylwa Pettersson, Twitter’s head of policy for the Nordics and Israel, was confronted by Israeli leaders during a Knesset hearing about anti-Semitism on social media. Pro-Israel activist and human rights attorney Arsen Ostrovsky asked Pettersson why Twitter has chosen to flag a recent Tweet by US President Donald Trump, but not Khamenei “who has literally called for the genocide of Israel and the Jewish people.”

On May 29, Twitter put a special label on a Trump tweet regarding nationwide unrest following the death of George Floyd.

Pettersson responded: “We have an approach toward leaders that says that direct interactions with fellow public figures, comments on political issues of the day, or foreign policy saber-rattling on military-economic issues are generally not in violation of our rules.”

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Knesset member Michael Cotler-Wunsh interrupted Pettersson and challenged her further.

“So, calling for genocide is OK, but commenting on political situations in certain countries is not okay?” Wunsh asked.