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JPost reports on YouTube's shut down of PMW video channel

Judy Montagu  |
One must examine one’s own motivation minutely and be quite sure that one is not delivering the message for the sake of any personal benefit.
Wikipedia, on the expression “shooting the messenger”:

In ancient times, messages were delivered by a human envoy, sometimes sent from the enemy camp. An easily-provoked combatant might vent his anger on the deliverer of an unpopular message by killing the messenger.

When I read on Sunday that after receiving complaints from users, YouTube had removed from its servers a video channel run by an Israeli NGO for repeatedly airing hate speech, I thought there hardly existed a more perfect example of “shooting the messenger.”

Palestinian Media Watch did show videos of incitement that were “indeed horrific,” in the words of PMW’s Itamar Marcus, but their content was directed against Jews and Israelis and recorded from Palestinian and other Arab media.

True, the disturbing videos were posted as part of an agenda: to educate the wider public about what was being disseminated among Arabs, in their own language, as opposed to what is said in English to Western audiences.

Essentially, PMW took on the role of messenger, and was “shot” for it.

Following outrage from supporters of the Israeli NGO and a report in this newspaper, the website reinstated the PMW channel a day later. Its staff presumably (hopefully) realized that there is a vast difference between those who purvey hate and those who work to unmask them; and that disgusting as a Hamas terrorist’s call on Palestinians to drink the blood of Jews may be – to describe just one video – PMW was simply exposing this and similar barbaric exhortations that it believed non-Arabic speakers should be aware of.

The reinstatement of PMW’s channel suggests that YouTube’s operators understood, albeit belatedly: It’s wrong to shoot the messenger.