YouTube Removes Video of Legal Scholar Defending Israeli Airstrikes

An Israeli legal scholar’s argument about the legality of Israeli airstrikes was temporarily removed from YouTube on Monday for violating unspecified “content guidelines.”

Eugene Kontorovich, a professor at George Mason University, appeared on RT to explain why Israel’s counterstrikes in Gaza are protected by international law. YouTube removed a video of his appearance because it violated the company’s terms of service. It later reversed the decision and restored the video without an explanation for why the initial action was taken. Kontorovich believes the video was down for 24 hours.

The move continues a pattern of capricious moderation of content related to Israel from social media platforms. In April, the Chinese-owned platform TikTok hosted a series of viral videos of Arabs assaulting Orthodox Jews.

Although it was unclear at press time what rule YouTube cited in removing the video, the company says it removes “content promoting violence or hatred” against a number of groups, including “victims of a major violent event and their kin.”

Kontorovich told the Washington Free Beacon he was surprised that YouTube would delete what he believed was “a completely calm, professional, academic discussion of international law.”

A YouTube spokeswoman said, “After review by our teams, we determined the video does not violate our Community Guidelines and it’s now available on YouTube.” YouTube did not respond to requests for comment on why the video had been taken down.

According to Kontorovich, restoring the video was not enough to combat what he sees as a battle for public opinion of Israel amid this ongoing conflict. Kontorovich told the Free Beacon that there’s “a major campaign to portray” Israeli defense efforts “as illegal and in violation of the laws of war,” and that silencing arguments like his are “constraining Israel’s ability to defend itself from Hamas.”

The post YouTube Removes Video of Legal Scholar Defending Israeli Airstrikes appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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