YouTube removes Blumenthal video

NEW YORK (JTA) — YouTube has removed footage of young American Jews making racist remarks about President Obama.

Attempts to access the video Friday were met with a message from the video-sharing Web site saying it had been "removed due to terms of use violation." YouTube typically removes videos when they are flagged by users as inappropriate.

Max Blumenthal, who made the video, wrote on his blog, "I won’t ascribe motives to Youtube I am unable to confirm, but it is clear there is an active campaign by right-wing Jewish elements to suppress the video by filing a flood of complaints with Youtube."

A spokesperson for Google, which owns YouTube, said company policy precluded commenting on individual videos, but stressed that policies are applied "uniformly and not as the result of external pressure."

The video caused a stir when it appeared in early June and led to criticism that Blumenthal had targeted drunk young people and portrayed them as reflective of a wider strain of racist thought within the Jewish community. Blumenthal responded that drunkenness did not lead people to express views they didn’t already hold.

YouTube’s policies have led it to remove Israel-related content in the past. Last December, the site took down several videos posted by the Israel Defense Forces showing aerial footage of its operations in Gaza. The videos were restored several days later.

Blumenthal’s video is available on the rival video-sharing site Vimeo.

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