While Netanyahu’s move appears to be extreme and quite dumb, it actually fits coherently with his government’s orchestrated campaign against Israeli human rights organizations over the last two years. In recent months Netanyahu has called on European governments to stop funding and cooperating with Breaking the Silence, and Israel’s education minister Naftali Bennett has already effectively banned Breaking the Silence from giving presentations in high schools.Netanyahu’s move is situated well within the context of an increasingly tyrannical government that has now upped its authoritarianism a notch. Israel has been censoring and restricting the freedoms of Palestinians since 1948, it has been applying similar tactics to Israeli leftists for years and is now taking that strategy to its biggest European ally. And Netanyahu knows he will not have to pay any consequences for it. Gabriel has already said cancellation of the meeting would be “regrettable” but would not hurt or affect Israel’s ties with Germany in any way.The ultimatum and refusal to meet with a German diplomat is reminiscent of the tactics used by the Israeli government against peace activists who began meeting with PLO representatives in the 1970s. In this sense, Israel is now treating Israeli organizations who document occupation as if they were Palestinians: Persona non grata. Now, anyone who wants to merely meet with or listen to these persona non grata is also an enemy. And just like in 1975, when Israel decided to legislate a law banning Israelis from meeting with PLO members, don’t be surprised if the Israeli government’s next move is to outlaw B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence.
Police in Thailand said on Tuesday that a man killed his baby before committing suicide during a Facebook Live broadcast.The two videos reportedly showed 20-year-old Wuttisan Wongtalay hanging his 11-month-old daughter from the rooftop of a deserted building in the town of Phuket. The public was able to access the broadcast on Wongtalay’s Facebook page for roughly 24 hours after it was first uploaded.”This is an appalling incident and our hearts go out to the family of the victim,” a Singapore-based Facebook spokesperson told Reuters news agency. “There is absolutely no place for content of this kind of Facebook and it has now been removed.”