The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has renewed calls to boycott the popular social media channel, Nas Daily, after accusing it of promoting normalisation efforts between the Arab world and Israel.
The Nas Daily channel and its creator – 28 year old Palestinian-Israeli Nuseir Yassin – have millions of followers but stand accused of receiving support from entities hostile to the Palestinian cause.
The BDS movement first called for the boycott of the channel in September when news broke that it would be hiring 80 Arabic speaking content creators for a media academy backed by the UAE. The New Media Academy was launched in June by the UAE’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Rashid al-Maktoum and is widely seen as an outlet of state propaganda disguised as non-political content.
Several of Nas Daily’s most recent videos have promoted the UAE, including one which praised the country as the safest destination to visit during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement The Palestinian National Committee for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions from Israel (BDS) called for content makers and influencers in the Arab world to boycott the upcoming “People Daily” program which “aims to implicate them in normalising relations with Israel and cover up its crimes.”
The statement said: “At a time when authoritarian Arab regimes, such as the UAE and Bahrain, rush to conclude treacherous normalisation agreements with the Israeli enemy, the latter is trying to penetrate the awareness of Arab peoples who believe that their liberation, progress and struggles for justice are linked to the freedom of the Palestinian people and the return of their refugees to their homes.
“Israel spends enormous sums on misleading, normalising media campaigns by publishing ‘non-political’ content that shows Israel as a natural, developed country that can help divert the attention of its Arab neighbours away from all its crimes against the Palestinian people and the Arab nation and its historical hostility towards it as a colonial and racist regime.
“The ‘Next Daily Nass’ program aims to train eighty Arabic content creators through the ‘Nass Academy’ that includes Israelis among the supervising and training staff headed by the Israeli Jonathan Bellick, and with funding from the Emirati New Media academy established by Muhammad Bin Rashid two months ago.
“This support by the Emirati authoritarian regime constitutes an explicit complicity in the Israeli efforts to invade the minds of our peoples and polish the crimes of the Israeli settler colonial regime and Apartheid, as well as the marketing of the shameful agreement that the regime concluded with the Occupation.
“Nas Daily, through its content, tries to portray the conflict with the Israeli enemy as a struggle between two parties of equal force, deliberately ignoring the rights of the Palestinian people, especially the right of return.”
Pro-Palestine activists have previously condemned Nuseir Yassin for references he made when about the expulsion of Palestinians from their land in 1948. When describing what happened, Nusier said: “Some Palestinians left, some got killed and some stayed in their land. My people stayed.”
In another instance, Nuseir posted a video one day after 58 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces. The atrocity happened when people took to the streets in the Gaza Strip on the 70th anniversary of the Nakba. In his video, he stated: “If you stand with one side and one side only, you are wrong because it’s not black or white. Israel has gone too far with its force. But to pretend that one side is fully responsible for this is inaccurate.”
He continued: “I can name a hundred things we as Palestinians (and Arabs like in Egypt and Jordan) did wrong in the past 70 years, and the same goes to Israel. Once you realise every side is to blame, you really can’t take sides.”