Quinn Riordan, Der Spiegel
The Arab League passed resolutions to aid the Yemen Civil War and are now discussing Topic 2: Addressing the Destabilizing Aspects of Social Media. The league has been focusing on the media divide and security.
Concerns have been raised over the use of social media to spread “terrorism” and “destroy governmental policies” the delegate of Kuwait said. The protection of the security of a nation against attacks and the role of governmental power within social media have led to divides within the league over the solutions they should propose.
“Security or Facebook? There's a simple answer to this question,” the delegate of Algeria said. “The answer is that this Arab League must take a united stance against radical terrorism as it brews through social media. Social media is the greatest force to destabilize this League.”
Yet, the delegate of Palestine has been outraged over the calls for censorship by other delegates within the Arab League. “The violence within the Palestinian state is only shown through social media. By blocking social media, you block the truth.,” the delegate of Palestine said.
The debate continued with a rise in inflammatory dialogue in both speeches and notes; including bomb threats being made by Morocco and Saudi Arabia against Palestine, threats by Saudi Arabia and Qatar to stop oil exports. Qatari, Egyptian and Djibouti delegations have apparently been planning to close ports and canals as well, the delegates of Palestine, Tunisia and Algeria said.
“It was very clear from the beginning that Saudi Arabia did not support the free exchange of information and the freedom of speech within countries. And it was also very clear that the Saudi Arabians and the Moroccans will do whatever they deem necessary to get what they want,” the delegate of Palestine said.
The blocs are diametrically opposed, one with free speech and the other censoring media.
“They're radically against these ideals [free media] and will do anything to stop the freedom of the press as they are scared that the atrocities going on in their own country will be revealed to the public through some of these resolutions that we are implementing soon,” the delegate of Tunisia said.
The delegate of Palestine warned fellow members of the Arab League that Morocco has threatened to close the Strait Gibraltar to all foreign nations. The Strait of Gibraltar connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and plays a critical role in the global economy, allowing thousands of ships through. The threats of bombing, stoping oil exports, and closing off the seas have disrupted the committee and slowed the progress of debate on social media.