Tech investors organize to silence pro-Palestinian voices
By News Editors // Dec 14, 2023

A group of pro-Israeli tech investors and executives in California’s Silicon Valley are seeking to influence media coverage of Israel’s war on Gaza and “combat the slightest deviations from the pro-Israel script,” a new investigation by journalists Lee Fang and Jack Poulsen shows.

(Article republished from New.TheCradle.co)

The investors and executives have joined with pro-Israeli activists and Israeli government officials to terminate pro-Palestinian employees at multi-national corporations from their jobs, smear Palestinian journalists, cancel speaking events at US universities by Palestinian writers and politicians, remove social media posts critical of Israel, “ridicule” pro-Palestinian social media influencers and lawmakers, and send military equipment to Israeli forces.

Following Hamas’ 7 October attack on Israeli military bases and settlements surrounding Gaza, the group formed a WhatsApp group to coordinate their activities.

The WhatsApp group, officially named the “J-Ventures Global Kibbutz Group,” is a project of J-Ventures, a US-Israeli investment fund.

The journalists obtained access to thousands of the group’s WhatsApp messages dating back to mid-October showing the group’s efforts to help Israel in its public relations war, in particular as Israel’s killing of Palestinians in Gaza quickly reached shocking levels, resulting in harsh international condemnation.

They described how members of the group coordinated on WhatsApp to have Courtney Carey, a Dublin-based employee of the Israeli website building company Wix, fired. Carey posted the Irish words “SAOIRSE DON PHALAISTIN” which means, “Freedom for Palestine” on her LinkedIn page, and was terminated 24 hours later.

The group includes prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist Jeff Epstein – a former CFO of Oracle – and Andy David, a diplomat-cum-venture capitalist who also serves as the Israeli foreign ministry’s head of innovation, entrepreneurship, and tech.

Adam Fisher, the head of the Israel office of Bessemer Venture Partners, gave a presentation to the group on how US “high-tech leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs,” such as himself, could help the Israeli army win the “information war” on social media.

The Israel-based venture capitalist spoke of how to “sow doubt” among young people in the US sympathetic to the Palestinian cause so they would not speak out or attend protests against Israel’s killing of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. "So it's really about creating some kind of confusion,” Fisher said,” to make it clear to them that it's really a lot more complicated."

The group also petitioned Netflix to remove the award-winning Jordanian film "Farha," claiming that its accurate portrayal of the actions of Israeli soldiers during the 1948 massacre and forced displacement of Palestinians constituted “blood libel,” while another said the film was based “antisemitism and lies.”

J-Ventures documents and affiliated WhatsApp discussions also show support for a variety of automated attempts to remove pro-Palestinian content on social media, including via DigitalDome.io, an initiative that promotes itself as an online version of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, promising that “offensive and malicious content is intercepted here.”

Digital Dome’s “recent achievements” included the censorship of Hamas’s channels on the Telegram communications platform using Android phones and the removal of pro-Palestinian content from Instagram and Twitter/X.

Members of the WhatsApp group successfully lobbied to have speaking events of Palestinian-US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and Palestinian writer for the Nation Magazine, Mohamed al-Kurd, canceled.

The group circulated a push poll suggesting Representative Tlaib should resign from Congress.

Finally, the group has also attempted to provide tactical gear to Israel’s equivalent of the US Navy SEALs, known as Shayetet-13, and donated to a foundation dedicated to supporting the Israeli army’s undercover “Duvdevan” unit, which is known for assassinating Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

Read more at: New.TheCradle.co



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