When Susanne Katz received a message by Instagram a little over a week ago notifying her that one of her photographs was taken down because it “violated community standards,” she never suspected it was over a seemingly innocent picture of her against the backdrop of an Israeli flag posted about 10 days prior.
The next morning, Katz reposted the photo, a selfie she took at work depicting a casual look with a messy ponytail in front of an Israeli flag, and again, it was taken down seven hours later.
Katz runs the young adult department at the Alpert Jewish Community Center in Long Beach, Calif.
She then contacted Instagram to ask why the photograph was taken down but did not receive a response, Katz said.
“Initially I was extremely upset because I consider the Israeli flag very much a part of my identity as a Jewish Zionist woman. Also, I have reported actual terrorist activity on Instagram…Actual graphic violence and nudity and I get a message back saying my post was reviewed and it doesn’t violate the community standards. So I was in disbelief that my photo violated anything,” Katz said in an exclusive interview with The Foreign Desk.
The caption reads “Antisemitism infects society with beliefs that define Jews as demonic, powerful, and a threat to the world. The currently accepted and false belief is that the “Palestinians” are the native people of “Palestine” and that the Jewish State is an occupying colonial state. This single fabrication is the main driving force behind the current wave of global antisemitism. The remarkable success that antisemitism has now attained has been made possible by the new tactic of erasing 3,500 years of Israel’s history in the land prior to the establishment of the modern state in 1948. The history of the Children of Israel in the Land of Israel, which was once common knowledge, has been deleted from our collective memories the way that the giant Buddhist statues in Afghanistan were obliterated.”
Several prominent Jewish and rights groups voiced concern on social media over the incident, and many wrote to Instagram to complain about the photograph being removed.
Instagram page ‘Humans of Judaism’ reposted the photo April 12 with the caption, “Last night Instagram deleted this photo saying it violated their standards. I’m #sorrynotsorry if the Israeli flag offends them.”
But it wasn’t until the Anti-Defamation League got involved, that the situation was resolved, according to Katz.
The photo was reposted on Instagram Tuesday.