Social media giant Twitter suspended the account of former Israeli ambassador and ex-Kulanu MK Michael Oren last week, with no prior warning or explanation, prompting criticism from pro-Israel activists.
Oren, 64, who served as Israel’s Ambassador to the US from 2009 to 2013 before becoming an MK for the Kulanu party, found himself barred from Twitter last Wednesday night, with no prior warning.
The following message was put up in place of the account following the suspension: “Account suspended, Twitter suspends accounts which violate the Twitter Rules.”
Oren’s account was suspended from Wednesday night till Monday afternoon, at which point it was restored - following reports in the Jewish press on the account’s suspension.
The former ambassador told Arutz Sheva he contacted Twitter, but said that initially there was no response, save for a confirmation of receipt of his message. After the story went public, Twitter told Oren the suspension was due to a “spam issue”.
But Oren says the case sounds “fishy”, hinting that Twitter might have suspended his account due to his criticism of the New York Times, which he accused of “whitewashing anti-Semitism”.
“It was suspended without warning. I inquired via email, they confirmed receipt and then, nothing. I only got a bland response today after the story hit the Jewish press. They said it was a spam issue but I can’t help feeling there’s something’s fishy here. The suspension followed two Tweets in which I criticized the NYT for misrepresenting BDS as an organization that seeks to end Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and accusing the paper of whitewashing anti-Semitism. I stand by that,” Oren told Arutz Sheva.
In a pair of tweets in December 2019, Oren wrote:
“NY Times calls BDS ‘a movement...opposing Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.’ In fact, BDS opposes Israel’s existence and seeks it’s [sic] destruction—by definition anti-Semitism. The Times cannot condemn anti-Semitism while whitewashing an anti-Semitic organization.”
“Twice in one week The NY Times says BDS ‘supports economic measures opposing Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.’ This is a deliberate lie. BDS seeks Israel’s destruction. Covering up anti-Semitism is anti-Semitic.”