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Ask HN: Urgent connection to Twitter support
875 points by yuvadam on July 8, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 127 comments

For the past few hours Israel and Gaza have been exchanging rocket and missile attacks, with many casualties on both sides.

I am the admin for an automated emergency alert twitter feed that thousands of users depend on to receive alerts on incoming attacks.

Currently, we are approaching API limits and require immediate relaxation of some of the limits.Support tickets have been filed, but no answers just yet, and escalation is required.

Any connections to Twitter support staff that can help us expedite handling of this ticket would be awesome, and would be helpful to many who depend on this feed during this difficult time.

Thanks, @yuvadm

Success! Twitter @support just got back to me with news that the rate limits have been increased!

HN, you are awesome!

See, HNers, procrastination habits can be put to good use!

Keep up the fantastic work! Glad to hear Twitter were helpful.

I'm curious, is this service service equally available/relevant to civilians on both sides of the conflict, or only one? I don't ask to be judgmental, I recognize that politically/legally it may not even be possible to serve both sides. I just wondered if the automated nature of the service allows for it to be apolitical.

Unfortunately, it caters mostly to the Israeli side, as it is in Hebrew and relies on Hebrew sources of information.

I would very much be interested in helping build a similar system for Palestinians in Gaza, but from past attempts to organize similar cooperations, help is not necessarily wanted.

That being said, I am aware of several Palestinian users in Gaza who do follow this account for various purposes.

Thanks, I don't ask to be partisan, just to gain a better understanding of the situation. I hope the conflict dies down quickly and that there is less death and destruction for everyone to worry about.

I imagine there is a lot of data available on the Israeli side but not as much on the Palestinian side.

Respect the intent to make a tool for peace, not a weapon. Want to point out that "Various purposes" might include the people shooting the missiles seeing if/where they land? These communications might better be conducted via bulk PM?

Possibly, but most reports never mention specific coordinates.

Israelis already have complete drone coverage of Gaza Strip, they don't need reports on hits. Palestinians cannot possibly use coordinates to aim homebrew rockets being used. Hit radius is e.g. around 1km for far range rockets.

During the last flare up with Hezbollah, my friends in the Haifa suburbs told me that there were some gag orders on some rockets that landed near them to prevent Hezbollah from knowing that they had successful hits. But I suppose the rockets of Hamas vs Hezbollah would be different.

EDIT: Seems like their rockets are reaching Tel Aviv so I guess they aren't as crude as they used to be...

Those rockets have long range, not precision.

Such a service could well be apolitical, but @rotternews is an extreme right wing news organization by Israeli standards.

That is true, most of the participants on Rotter hold views that are despicable and couldn't be further away from my beliefs.

However, Rotter has time and again proven to be the best news community on the Israeli internet, bringing breaking news and alerts as they happen.

Also, note that all the hate speech on Rotter always takes place in the thread comments, never in the headlines, which is what we use for @rotternews.

> Also, note that all the hate speech on Rotter always takes place in the thread comments, never in the headlines, which is what we use for @rotternews.

Is it now? What about these, just in the past few hours:

* https://twitter.com/RotterNews/status/486621279823200256

* https://twitter.com/RotterNews/status/486621270738366464

* https://twitter.com/RotterNews/status/486631085724286976

* https://twitter.com/RotterNews/status/486625806932664320

Again, I will not translate because the views expressed in this Twitter feed are abhorrent to most Israelis, and are, quite frankly, idiotic and juvenile, but the Twitter feed itself is most certainly ultra right wing (and represents a small minority of Israelis).

I would appreciate if you (or someone) would, since if they're already posted here, those of us who don't speak Hebrew are left wondering about the context of the discussion.

Just follow the links in the tweets and paste them into Bing/Google translate.

The translation is not perfect but the general gist seems to be anger, hatred and calls for revenge towards Palestinians.

Nah, that will just piss me off terribly. Instead, let me translate a recent tweet by some (other) clever Israeli:

I will never forgive the Middle East for making me hate nationalists, while people like me in the rest of the enlightened world have long since moved on to hating capitalists

Thanks, that is clever! Though I guess they shouldn't feel so bad; capitalism intersects with other oppressive systems like patriarchy, race and the state...

I was surprised to find that google translate did a good enough job at conveying the idiocy:

Let the state of #Israel to win and take your gloves without spare any Gazan!

Talk about putting the war home: Gazan Commander and his family immigrated to storm heaven.

sources ?

Well, the website itself is the best of sources. I would translate some of the posts if I weren't too ashamed.

Well the conflict itself is not apolitical.

True, but not wanting to get hit by explosive projectiles seems to be universal. If you could make a tool that addressed that need without regard to which side of a dispute users were on it might have a de-escalatory effect. Then again maybe I'm wrong and it would just cause technological escalation instead.


What's the actual account you're posting these emergency alerts on? I looked at your @yuvadm account and couldn't see any retweets.

(Side note, I'd perhaps change your Archimedes joke in your Twitter description, given where you are and what you're doing)

Is your twitter feed informing about the bombs falling on Gaza? (no sarcasm)

A link to the twitter feed? Thanks.

It does, but only based on second-hand reports. See my additional response on the sibling thread.

I'm interested on this as well.

Here's a link to the Google Translated feed for @rotternews. (I used the mobile version due to formatting issues w/ the standard version)


If anyone reads it, please don't mistake it for a mainstream Israeli news organization. Rotter News is a fringe right wing news website.

It is. It also happens to be very good at reporting live rocket hits fast, which makes it a valuable resource regardless of their politics (which I don't agree with).

This does not look like an emergency alert twitter feed, but more a news feed website about Israƫl.

I think you mean, "Many casualties on the Palestinian side." Has ANYONE been killed in Israel? While Gaza is bombarded and dozens are dead, including children.

Don't try to equate the oppressor with the oppressed.

Nor is the oppressor the side with fewer casualties. Germany lost far more soldiers and civilians in the Second World War, yet that racist regime were clealy the oppressors, whose end came only by force.

So it is with Hamas.

It's annoying when people we don't like win elections isn't it? EDIT: Which countries weren't racist in the second world war? All the allied countries I know anything about certainly were.

It's more than annoying when said people proceed to summarily exterminate and/or expel all members of the democratically elected government belonging to the rival party, and bring about a quasi-religious violent regime which kills its own people for ideological ends.

Also, it is not ok to use your own civilian population as human shields, raise a generation of kids to become violent martyrs for your cause, and sacrifice their lives for your ideological war, which include things like the "elimination of a Jewish state in Israel".

Hamas killing Palestinians living in Gaza who are having a wedding, which wasn't Islamic enough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEud-cEjwQU

Indoctrinating children to hate and "kill Jews" to "liberate Palestine": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomorrow's_Pioneers

By the way, in Hamas' view, "liberate Palestine" means to rid it of a Jewish state completely. If they took all that money to actually improve the education and quality of life of their citizens (which is what they are, essentially), they could be a legitimate government of a legitimate state. They already effectively have a state in the Gaza Strip. But their leaders would prefer to fight their ideological war and sacrifice their own people for it. As often is the case, it's the leaders of the people with their ideological ideas who are most responsible for the deaths of their own population.

> They already effectively have a state in the Gaza Strip.

I don't understand why anyone would say that. The things that differentiate Gaza and the west bank from a sovereign state are precisely the basis for the horrible conflict happening there.

Hardly. The goal of Hamas "armed resistance" as they call it is a united Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital, no land swaps etc. This is an ideological position with zero compromise. Hamas' understanding of "occupation" is exactly that Jews have a state in the area.

Gaza could become a sovereign Palestinian state, it doesnt need a military to do so. No one is occupying it or attacking it, and it receives tons of American money. The problem is that their leaders are ideological crackpots, and many are corrupt on top of that, and they havent built up their economy, infrastructure, education etc in 7-8 years they controlled it. Instead they spent all their efforts on violent methods to advance an ideological agenda, and used their own people as human shields and used "state" funded TV and social centers to teach their kids to hate.

> Gaza could become a sovereign Palestinian state, it doesnt need a military to do so.

A state with entirely benign neighbors could, theoretically, endure without a military (not that such a state really exists... even Monaco has a few soldiers). Not being permitted to have a military does preclude a state from being considered sovereign.

In any case, you said "They already effectively have a state in the Gaza Strip." That's silly on a few levels, independent of the politics.

> No one is occupying it or attacking it

I know little about the conflict but I'm quite certain the people living there consider the blockade an aggressive act. I certainly would.

> The problem is that their leaders are ideological crackpots, and many are corrupt on top of that, and they havent built up their economy, infrastructure, education etc in 7-8 years they controlled it.

Gazans are definitely very badly served by the homicidal lunatics they've voted into office. I'd say the problem is a lot bigger than that. The lunatics are exploiting the situation but the conflict is a lot older than they are.

Yeah the Gazans are very badly served by Hamas as their leaders. Hamas could have taken the opportunity of having the entire area essentially self governed to set a shining example of Palestinian self government and focus on actually helping their people and grow the economy, develop things with thw money they get from the US etc. In fact they could work with Israel and other countries to do it. But they choose the path of violence which makes the US, EU, UN and others label them a terrorist organization, and that hurts the regular people in the Gaza strip.

As for the blockade - it is there to try and prevent arms smuggling into Gaza which has happened before (via tunnels, boats etc) from groups in Iran, Syria, Egypt. Iran as aa state actually delivered arms to Hamas and Hezbollah. It uses the Palestinians as a wedge against Israel being in the region (which it refers to as the Zionist regime). In fact, to many Arab states, Palestinian Arabs are often just a political tool but when it comes to helping them they have a worse record than Israel. Consider the relationship of Kuwait with Palestinians, 500,000 of which they expelled following the Gulf War with NO right of return, for siding with Saddam. Consider the feud of the Hashemite dynastry with the PLO -- look up Black September in Jordan or how 7000 Palestinians in west bank were summarily killed during the 1967 war. Not much outcry was going on when Jordan controlled the West Bank. But when Israel controls it, there is a great outcry about how they live there. I would like to say that the outcry should have been in ALL cases. The Kurds in Turkey and Iraq have been fighting for independence for over 100 years and hardly anyone talks about Turkey's "occupation" of them, or Saddam's gassing of the kurds with Mustard gas after the Gulf war for siding with the USA (short version: we betrayed them and left after we achieved our ends just like we did with muhajideen and others who helped us win wars against our enemies back then).

Anyway -- it's a complex scenario, and history is replete with violent leaders. Arab states originally wanted to see the Jewish state completely gone, and for it to belong to Syria! And earlier than 1948, Arabs would never want to work with any organized Jewish groups, to create one state. That was the conclusion of the Peel commission, which said the only way is to separate into two states. Look up "Al Husseyni" on wikipedia for example.

Today, the way out is to elect moderate leaders who reject violent resistance in west bank and gaza. This should be OBVIOUS. If gaza doesnt attack Israel it will mot be physically attacked. In fact if someone else attacks Gaza, Israel can help defend it. Furthermore, if they provide a great education for their children, increase economic ties with Israel, and actually ENFORCE normal laws like against stop smuggling qassam rockets into Gaza, or firing them, or killing people, etc. then the blockade can be lifted eventually and they can trade freely with other nations.

One thing is obvious: if Gaza lays down their arms Israel would NOT go in there or attack anyone. Gaza leaders can form a state of their own and go work with other countries to build it up for their people. But the current leaders have a stangelehold on Gaza. This often happens when an army leaves as suddenly as Israel. This happened when England left India after Gandhi (a civil war in which by some counts 1,000,000 people died) and it's happening in Iraq with ISIS now. It's unfortunate. But we havent learned how to do nation building properly.

> Germany lost far more soldiers and civilians in the Second World War

Not more than the Russians...

Check your historical figures. There's no possible definition X of the major Allies (hint: USSR) for which you can support your claim that "Germany lost far more soldiers [or] civilians" than X. You're smoking crack by like an order of magnitude.

You spelled "Israel" wrong.

Casualty != killed

That being said, I suspect you are correct about a disparity in numbers on one side.

Three Israeli teenagers were murdered.

A separate incident that was also not in Gaza and not related to Hamas. Somehow no one cares about those facts and Israel can use it for further aggression against a people, most likely hoping to spark further retaliation so they can escalate further.

> not related to Hamas

Huh? Take your propaganda elsewhere.

Um, the suspects Israel arrested are not members of Hamas but a group that has consistently clashed with Hamas... This isn't some hidden detail, haha.

Stop pretending we're talking about something else. The three Israeli kids were killed by Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group. Read the parent.

There would be less people killed on the Palestinian side if Hamas' strategy didn't include purposefully putting civilians in harms way, such as by using them (including children) for human shields when Israel gives advance notice that a particular building is going to be bombed [1] [2].

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/09/world/middleeast/by-phone-...

[2] http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/08/world/meast/mideast-tensions/i...

Yea, wtf, why would people live with their families?

And why don't they have fancy bomb shelters like Israel!

The leaflets are practically taunts. Where are the people of Gaza to go? How are they to get out?


They don't have bomb shelters because their government sees utility in their deaths.

And yet they still bombed the building?

There would be less people killed if Israel's strategy didn't include creating settlements in Palestinian territory. There's lots that can be done to reduce casualties.

Hamas and good portion of the Muslim world wants nothing less than the destruction of all of Israel. They tweet about reclaiming Tel Aviv.

Settlements are irrelevant. They also haven't expanded geographically since before the second intifada. Homes are built within the existing perimeters of the settlements.

Is HN the new emergency technical support now? I thought twitter would have a redphone to handle request like these...

No, HN is not for technical support requests. We normally demote these, but didn't see this one on the front page until a minute ago. It's nice that it did some good, but we're burying it now.

Maybe they can help out with this gmail outage that has been affecting some people (including me) for more than 2 weeks.


Possible Work around?.... Create second twitter account, and announce it from the first twitter account periodically. Make new announcements on second twitter account.

We'd rather not fragment our content in this way, and even if we did, updating our automated scripts to handle this scenario wouldn't be trivial.

You should probably include your contact, and twitter handle?

Included, my personal handle is @yuvadm

What account is this that's hitting the limits? Or what application?

No app, just a simple feed that we post tweets to from various sources via API. Further details will be gladly discussed with @support staff.

Why are you being secretive about the details? You may never hear back from Twitter support, but in hiding things you may miss ideas, opportunities and resources that HN users can provide to scale your feed in different ways.

No reason to keep things secret, it's just that the entire content is highly localized (specifically, it's all Hebrew) and wouldn't mean much to non-local users.

Because it's controversial I assume.

Can you send me the twitter handle of the feed? My family lives in Hadera and the sirene didn't go off for the last strike. Would be good to follow this account as well.

I have zero connection to the area or the conflict, but I too want to follow the feed.

Go ahead, it's @rotternews but be warned it is very high traffic, might want to add it to a list rather than follow, as most of our users do.

Thanks for that!

This thread brings out a lot of partisanship. yuvadm can't warn others of incoming rocket attacks without being criticized for it? Are people upset that he could potentially be reducing casualties? Ridiculous. Spew hate elsewhere.

Messaged some friends who used to intern at Twitter and know people. Good luck!


I understand the times are critical, and I apologize in advance for giving a suggestion at a bad time like this, but while @support answers you, why not check Faye[1] + HAProxy[2]?

This may not be as convenient as Twitter, but in case the answer from Twitter is negative, you can use these tools to broadcast updates in real time (I assume at this point, scalability is already an issue, and this is why I added HAProxy to the formula).

[1] http://faye.jcoglan.com

[2] http://www.haproxy.org

Thanks for the suggestion! Twitter is being used since many users already have it setup including push notifications.

I would love to build a push system of my own (it's also right up my alley), but onboarding users to a proprietary system would be significantly harder.

To put things in context, Israel killed at least 24 people in Gaza today [1], including children. Did they have access to Twitter, let alone any telecommunication mean, let alone food and water? Sorry, but I really don't see how your twitter account being rate-limited or whatever has the slightest importance in this tragedy.

[1] http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/08/world/meast/mideast-tensions/i...

He is just trying to do whatever he can on the side of the conflict he can help out.

It's a war, and collateral damage is, unfortunately, inevitable.

To put things in context, after receiving a warning call from the IDF that their building was going to be bombed, the head of the household ushered the children onto the roof as human shields.


Shameful that you're being downvoted. FTA:

> Official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that six were killed. Those killed were forming a "human shield" on the roof of a home belonging to members of Hamas' militant wing, Palestinian sources said. Two were children, WAFA and Palestinian medical sources said.

Ah, same tactic Putin's bandits are using in Ukraine. Absolutely despicable.

Problem has been solved, mods please backpage the rageful Israel-vs-Palestine debate.

what does backpaging mean?

I have no contact in twitter, but you can try contacting twitter support via https://www.linkedin.com/

There are about 3k people from twitter on linkedin. I am sure one of them might be able to help you.

This is probably relevant: https://twitter.com/LTCPeterLerner/status/486203341622370304

"Peter Lerner

Israel Defense Forces Spokesman for International Media & Commander of the IDF Social Media activities.."

    Download code red app to see what's happening in Israel & where rockets are landing 

Maybe you should think about putting up an rss feed, or throttling yourself the information posted to kind of sum them up in the meantime

Good suggestion. An RSS feed sort of exists already, and twitter is just a better vehicle to deliver these alerts.

We could try to throttle ourselves, and better filter e.g. duplicates, that is true.

I think if the focus is mobile you can try setting up a very lightweight page with the latest events (with a cache in front, something that is updated every 1min or maybe 5min should be enough)

They need real time. 5 minutes is not "real time". Twitter is real time.

They need to meet their audience where their audience can meet them. Just about every phone nowadays can access Twitter in an immediate and obvious way. Twitter will meet their audience where their audience needs to be met.

Actually the definition of real time is: it meets the time constraint of your problem. It doesn't matter if this time constraint is 1ms, 1s or 1h. Of course it's harder to meet a 1ms time constraint so most problems fall into that category.

Hence, if their time constraint is 5min, fine by them, otherwise the question stands: what is their constraint.

And Twitter is not real time (this is obvious if you ever used it - it is more visible in the mobile version), there's no guarantee that if a tweet was sent by an account A in time T and the timeline of someone who follows A is opened some seconds later that tweet will show up.

Not sure if it will help, but I've contact a few Twitter folks I know and alerted them to this thread.

Keep up the good work!!!

I prefer planning over firefighting...

I actually contacted @support 3 months ago about this problem, and they dismissed it as a non-issue.

I mean not relying on Twitter on communicating your message...

We all do. But I think the time to fault them for not anticipating this is later. Right now, if the only thing you can contribute is, "They should have been better prepared," I don't see that as particularly helpful.

Sorry for not being helpful. At least the other comments were so freakin' helpful I heard that they stopped shooting from Gaza. You know, the opinion of Internet people matter.

"In the words of Archimedes, give me a long enough lever, and a place to rest it - or I will kill one hostage every hour."

Sure - that will get you priority with Twitter support!

right - that really makes it fine. I get the joke, I just don't think that sort of comment will help their cause much.

just respect the usage limits like any other service being provided for you for free.

No links to your service. Running 'emergency feed' that has thousands of users depending on it with API limits without factoring in rate limiting ahead of time.

Not to mention that Israel has active defense systems that alert your general area via sirens when missiles are coming.

Why is this on front page?

because it's not very common that this community can potentially pitch in to save lives on an immediate basis, and this happens to be one of those occasions.

those relying on the service should not be penalized by the software development practices of the person who wrote it with the best of intentions, and the opportunity existed for that to be avoided via community outreach (and it worked).

Why would anybody in Israel rely on such 'service' when they have fully automated missile detection system that sounds alarms within the region of possible impact.

Not to mention that twitter feed that gets it's news from another web site is a giant waste of time if you are trying to avoid rockets.

It seems to me you drank the kool-aid, without any fact checking.

If you want to do the 'lives' angle, if my life was at risk I would rely on billion dollar missile defense system. Not a delayed Twitter feed.

Alarm sounding isn't totally reliable. One rocket hit a northern city, Hadera, 60 miles outside of Gaza today. No alarm that instance, I'm told.

If my life was at risk I'd probably not restrict myself to one source of information about possible sources of impending death.

Given some of the posts elsewhere in the thread, that automated warning system isn't foolproof, so more info is better.

This is horrible.

But you can be sure if the US were launching missles and a Twitter feed were used to warn the targets then the owner of the account would be an enemy of the state.

War is horrible. The internet brings us all closer to it. But you are basically asking an American corporation to supply a war effort with ammunition to your side.

Again, I will not comment on the political aspect of this specific campaign. (Hit my feed to get a sense of my personal opinions if you are truly interested.)

I care about information dissemination and about helping humans on both side of a conflict to have better insight into the chaos that is occurring around them.

What about the below stats live from Ghaza? I think these Palestinian's twitter API quota has already been reached and went beyond any limit too.

- 447 heavy rockets, - 374 air strike aggression, - 39 marine bombs, - 111 targeted homes, - 17 homes completely destroyed, - 95 homes partially destroyed, - 2 masjids attacked, - 1 hospital attacked, - 1 ambulance car attacked.

I can understand war, I understand loss and fear, but I can't understand how such a silly thing has reached Hacker News's front page.

Please, I completely understand, and trust me our views on this issue aren't very different.

My goal is to disseminate breaking news and alerts as quickly and widely as possible, to whomever needs it.

As I do understand and empathize with your cause. And trust that I'm not looking for a political argument or the likes. The comment above is a painful cry out towards the absurdity of the situation in an attempt to shed some light on the colossal 'gap' between the worries of both sides..

Yes, the gap is certainly absurd (though I'm not sure about the validity of the numbers you quoted). But there are many absurdities about this conflict. This is what I posted here during the previous spat (exactly 600 days ago):

The mutual bloodshed is terrible, and, as a resident of Tel Aviv I'm personally affected, but there is one thing that has always perplexed me a bit, which is the perception of the actual ferocity of the conflict. Obviously, every death is a terrible loss, but this forum is fond of numbers, so while we're on the subject, here are some numbers:

The total number of deaths in the entire Israeli-Arab conflict over the past 70 years or so, is - according to Wikipedia - under 100,000. Out of which, about 25,000 are Israeli, a similar number are Palestinians, and the rest, I guess are casualties of all the other fighting arab countries combined, although the total seems to me a bit high. That's the total for the past 70 years.

By comparison, in the Libyan and Syrian civil wars, Wikipedia puts the number of deaths at about 30,000 in each country in the last year alone. And the Mexican drug war has claimed the lives of about 56,000 since 2006; some estimates go as high as 100,000.

So, not to compare suffering, but the entire Israeli-Arab conflict has claimed, over the last 70 years, more or less the same number of lives as the drug war in Mexico in the past 6.

In short, both sides are trying to recruit the world's support for what is, in reality, a very low-intensity conflict compared to just about any other violent conflict, anywhere else in the world.

a very low-intensity conflict compared to just about any other violent conflict, anywhere else in the world.

It's more medium-intensity than low-intensity. Yes, it's not open war. But neither is it as low-key as IRA bombings or Basque separatism. The Israeli-Arab conflict not only has a ton of money flowing in from other sources, it's also something of a proxy war from bigger players. The same can't be said of things like the Second Congo War - the most deadly war since WWII, but was geopolitically unimportant, and holds no benefit or kudos for the major players if they did get involved. The Israeli-Arab conflict also affects a lot of people and politics outside the Levant - both sides have a lot of prominent political and financial agitators. Compare to Cambodia's killing fields, an internal event with over a million dead... that had very little effect outside the country, and little in the way of agitators to draw attention.

So why do people harp on about the Israeli-Arab conflict? Because Israelis and Arabs keep on demanding the world's attention over the conflict, really.

And Wikipedia is a credible resource for providing accurate numbers? How about you spend a couple of hours tonight monitoring #GazaUnderAttack (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23gazaunderattack&src=typd) on Twitter, and let's both count the number of casualties (in the pictures) for the night. May I remind you these are human beings; children, women and young girls murdered, they're not soldiers @pron. Numbers are irrelevant in analyzing the situation or the conflict. Arab Leaders are to be damned for being so passive about all these atrocities (Libyan and Syrian civil wars included) and even contributing to some. That said, 'nothing' justifies 'Genocide'.

The irony of pointing out that Wikipedia lacks perfect credibility and then citing twitter posts as a source!

Those pictures under the #GazaUnderAttack are often fake (e.g. from other conflicts, such as Syria) as pointed out by the BBC [1] just yesterday.

Twitter posts are about as useful and hysterical (and in the literal meaning, not funny) as YouTube comments and for the large part do nothing to promote useful discussion or accurate reporting.

More to the point, why are you politicizing a discussion that so far has been thankfully apolitical?

[1]: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-28198622

I'm going to be as hand wavy as the BBC here: but in the past there has been fake Palestinian twitter accounts tweeting nonsense like this. It's a systemic way to discredit a source and deny the murders. I'm guessing, it's a form of electornic Mista'arvim http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mista%27arvim

@benjiz, because an apolitical discussion is the act of sharing soulless text without any particular depth. It's like focusing on a very narrow property/aspect of the discussion while neglecting context. Political discussions are not bad, they're great and conduce to sharing different perspectives of the same story. Extremism and non-balanced bias on the other hand are what this platform should avoid and have been avoided in this discussion (I hope).

Anyone whom can be bothered to read the Wikipedia "talk pages" can see for themselves that Wikipedia articles are edited to be thoroughly biased concerning Palestine/Israeli affairs.

I find it strange that you created an account less than 20 minutes ago to take part in the "political discussion" yourself, unless you're working professionally as part of the "hasbara" effort?!

If they hadn't posted that link (to the BBC), I would have.. and if I didn't already have an account, I would have made one, just for that one post. Someone had to point it out.

Well of course, "someone" has to post the propaganda, otherwise the public might find out the truth.

Which photos are the BBC referring to? They don't reference them so that calls into question the veracity of their claims.

Yes, children on both sides were killed in the last several days, and yes, the residents of Gaza are certainly worse off -- as they have been for the past many decades -- than most Israelis (mostly through no fault of Israel's). I really wish this conflict would end as soon as possible, and I'm actively trying, in my very modest civilian capacity, to advance a peaceful resolution. But let me assure you that no genocide is taking place.

I share the same hopes for peaceful resolution pron, and I personally, truly, appreciate your endeavors. If there's any way we can combine efforts to reach the same goals in balancing the odds, I'm more than willing to invest my time (among other resources) in that. I'm afraid, though, that deep geo-political agendas govern this conflict and any if not all civilian initiatives are dwarfed compared to these forces at play. I have witnessed, first-hand Israel's destruction, from the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the 80's, Qana genocide in the 90's to the attacks on Lebanon in 2006 and I'm more than familiar with this entity's capacity of destruction; making it hard to believe that these are non civilian targeting attacks with the purpose of self-defense.

> reach the same goals in balancing the odds

Did you seriously just write that? As in you are trying to have more Israelis killed so there will be balance?

Tell me I misunderstood you.

Whatever those geopolitical forces are, unfortunately for the Arabs in the Middle East, Israel is the very least of their problems. There are far more destructive (and far, far more lethal) forces in the region, and the Arab-Israeli conflict is the least violent one in the Middle East by an order of magnitude.

FYI HN people don't line sarcasm or irony on the portal. I still try to figure it out why... Any time I see this, I kinda feel like:


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