JERUSALEM, Israel – Facebook has reinstated the Jerusalem Prayer Team (JPT) page after shutting it down earlier this year amid claims of an alleged anti-Semitic campaign against the group during Israel’s 11-day war with Gaza in May.
The Jerusalem Prayer Team, established by Mike Evans in 2002, boasts more than 75 million followers. According to Evans, “radical Islamic organizations” spammed the page with two million anti-Semitic posts in 72 hours in May. He also believes the attack is linked to a Jordanian man who allegedly “hacked” the page and inundated it with anti-Semitic comments to get it shut down.
“They posted over a million comments on our site and then had the people contact Facebook saying that they never posted to the site. That was a complete scam and fraud. It was a very clever, deceptive plan by Islamic radicals,” Evans told CBN News.
Facebook removed the JPT page on May 16 and notified Evans. When asked why, a spokesman for the company said: “We removed Jerusalem Prayer Team’s Facebook Page for violating our rules against spam and inauthentic behavior,” which Evans disputed.
Facebook also denied Evans’ claims that the page was the target of an Islamist attack.
“We are not seeing any evidence that this page was a victim of a cyber-attack,” a Facebook spokesperson told the Washington Times.
Evans believes the alleged attack was part of larger campaign by pro-Palestinian activists who accused Facebook of censoring Palestinian accounts and posts during the Gaza war. NBC News reported that these activists coordinated to downgrade Facebook’s rating from 4 to 2.3 stars on Apple’s App Store, and 2.4 stars on Google Play.
JPT continued to appeal to Facebook to restore their page and it was restored in September. Now that it is back, Evans said the page will focus on its goal: “To build Israel's brand and to make friends of Zion by fundamentally educating Millennials and combatting antisemitism.”