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Rights group: Israeli online incitement towards Arabs doubled in 2016

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An Arab rights group has found ten of thousands of Israelis are publishing “widespread hatred and incitement against Arabs and Palestinians” on social media, and are often motivated to harass following charged statements by Israeli politicians.

The hate speech is going unnoticed by Israeli officials who are advancing a law to scrub similar content from Facebook, but only when it is made by Palestinians against Israelis, said the Haifa-based group 7amleh, the Arab Center for Social Media Advancement, in a report published Tuesday.

(Image: 7amleh – the Arab Center for Social Media Advancement)

7amleh focused on Hebrew social media posts. Along with the Israeli firm Vigo, it analyzed keywords used online during 2015 and 2016. The group said the results were “horrifying,” due to the sharp increase of incitements towards Arabs in the last year. The study showed slanderous, provocative, and threatening posts made by Israelis against Arabs and Palestinians more than doubled in 2016, reaching 675,000 posts made by 60,000 Hebrew-speaking Facebook users.

That number amounts to one inflammatory post every 46 seconds, with one in eight using derogatory terms or “incitement to violence,” 7amleh said.

This data is the first that examines Israelis abusing Palestinians online. It comes around two months after an Israeli legislative committee approved a draft of a bill that grants Israeli courts the authority to order Facebook to censor content it deems in violation of Israeli regulations over verbal threats.

Yet on a case by case basis, Israeli police already coordinate with Facebook and Google to block and remove offending online content. At a cyber security conference last week, the Israeli Knesset member who introduced the “Facebook law,” Ayelet Shaked, said Facebook complies with 78 percent of Israel’s requests to delete content or suspend accounts, the Israeli outlet NRG reported.

Israel began arresting Palestinians in large numbers in 2015 on incitement charges following a series of knife attacks against Israelis with a noticeable trend, some of the attackers had posted their deadly plans in advance on Facebook. Over the next year, tensions increased with Palestinians killing 36 Israelis, and Israeli forces killing more than 200 Palestinian. According to the Arab legal rights group Adalah, in this same period, Israeli police arrested more than 400 Palestinians because of content they produced or circulated online. Over 200 were citizens of Israel and at least 150 were from the West Bank, of whom 60 were convicted for “incitement” (the other 90 were released without charges).

Under Israeli law incitement is punishable by up to five years in prison, however, in the West Bank where Palestinians are subject to harsher military law, the same offense can come with a ten-year sentence. The kinds of comments that have landed Palestinians in jail have ranged from one poster stating he hoped to be a “martyr,” to journalists sharing newsworthy events.

Nadim Nashif, the Director of 7amleh said his group’s research confirms while Israel was arresting a record number Palestinians for social media posts, it was selectively enforcing policies against hate speech and online harassment when made by Israelis.

“This report contains a message to the decision makers on these social media networks to halt the biased and dual policies,” said Nashif, “The report also calls on social media networks to stand firm against the incitement and violations hosted on their sites against Arabs, and to deal with, on a serious level, risks induced as a result of this incitement.”

Of those targeted online, 7amleh said most are Palestinian politicians.

“The Knesset member, Haneen Zoabi, bore the brunt of insults and incitement to murder, with 60,000 posts being directed towards her. The Knesset member Ahmed Tibi was subjected to 40,000 posts, closely followed by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with 30,000 and Ayman Odeh with 25,000. Basil Ghattas was verbally abused in 15,000 posts each. Furthermore, Abnaa Sakhnin Football Club was singled out in 14,000 posts,” the group said.

7amleh discovered a correlation between these outbursts against Palestinians leaders, and speeches made by influential Israeli politicians, including a spike during the trial of Elor Azaria, “The incitement is seen in the content written on the internet seemed to rise as the Israeli leadership increased incitement and hatred in their public addresses,” 7amleh said.

“Israel has more than 200 criminal files against Arab and Palestinian activists charging them with incitement on the internet, while almost not a single case of incitement has been opened against Israeli instigators,”  7amleh said.

Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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23 Responses

  1. oldgeezer on February 8, 2017, 9:58 am

    I am surprised it is only doubled. The volume of calls for physical violence against others, including putative left wing Israeli Jews, on media sites or blogs, particularly camera associates, is staggering.

    The level of incitement from Israelis has always vastly exceeded any incitement from Palestinians. Granted a Palestinian being alive and breathing counts as incitement to a lot of ziofacists.

  2. just on February 8, 2017, 10:10 am

    Not at all surprising. It’s another feature of the apartheid, violent, and thieving state. The ‘leaders’ of Israel have taken incitement to a whole new level. The rabble are only following suit. Israelis can get away with executing Palestinians, what’s a little hate speech and threats?

    Israel targets journalists, too.

    Remember that Emad abu-Shamsiyah immediately received death threats and harassment:

    “Israeli settlers attack Palestinian videographer of Hebron shooting in attempt to ‘silence documentation and resistance’” – See more at:

    Breaking the Silence has been threatened for telling the truth. So has Gideon Levy. So have other human rights groups.

    Israel doesn’t like the truth.

    Thanks, Allison.

  3. Marnie on February 9, 2017, 12:51 am

    Agree this is no surprise. What’s to stop them or even shame them when the ‘leaders’ have been doing this all along?

  4. Maghlawatan on February 9, 2017, 10:37 am

    Israelis are educated to hate. What is the point of such a Jewish state?

    • Mooser on February 9, 2017, 8:22 pm

      “Israelis are educated to hate. What is the point of such a Jewish state? “

      You have to ask, “Mag”? It’s pretty obvious: If most of 900,000,000 people in Israel are all educated to hate by the Jewish State, they could take over the world, or very easily hold the world at bay from inside Israel’s vast territory!

      • Mayhem on February 13, 2017, 8:24 am

        “If most of 900,000,000 people in Israel”. @Mooser, it is now apparent you have reached a state of innumerate dementia.

      • eljay on February 13, 2017, 10:23 am

        || Mayhem: … @Mooser, it is now apparent you have reached a state of innumerate dementia. ||

        You should’ve stuck with your figure of 2 billion, Mooser. ;-)

      • Mooser on February 13, 2017, 12:15 pm

        “If most of 900,000,000 people in Israel”. @Mooser, it is now apparent you have reached a state of innumerate dementia.”

        (Finally, a Zionist has caught me defining Jewish population way down! Refusing to acknowledge just how many Zionists there are Oh well, the truth had to come out sooner or later)

        So “Mayhem” You mean THERE’S MORE THAN THAT? Oh my God, now I’m really frightened of Israel! There’s more than 900,000,000 fighting Zionists in Israel?

        Okay “Mayhem” lay it on us. How many Zionists you go? Nazi Germany started out with only about 90 million people. How many has Israel got 180,000,000? A billion?

        C’mon, “Mayhem”, since I am obviously estimating Jewish and Zionist population way, way too low, please tell us what it is. I’ll try not to scream in fear at the overwhelming numbers.

        Or are you going to scare us with how few Zionists there are?

  5. Ossinev on February 9, 2017, 1:49 pm

    This article criticising Jewish people for their far right extremist racist beliefs and actions is a blatant case of Anti-Semitism adding further to the huge rise in the documented Anti- Semitic attacks and abuse throughout the world including Micronesia. Why only the other day (cont p194)

    • RoHa on February 9, 2017, 4:49 pm

      Seldom does anything I read on MW – or anywhere else – alleviate my stony-faced gloom, but I did actually smile, slightly, at your invocation of Private Eye.

      I don’t know whether it still is, and I still would, but it used to be funny, and I used to enjoy it.

      Thanks for the reminder.

      • Mooser on February 9, 2017, 9:02 pm

        Seldom does anything I read…alleviate my stony-faced gloom”

        “RoHa” I picture you as an Easter Island sculpture, frowning into the Trade Winds, but you wanna talk about stony-faced? I’ve got an impacted submandibular gland which flared up as a result of mouth-breathing sleep while I had the flu and clogged sinuses. Big hard lump on jaw, and it hurts.

      • Mooser on February 13, 2017, 12:24 pm

        “Big hard lump on jaw, and it hurts.”

        By taking amoxicillin until the top of my head started sprouting mold,( as prescribed by Dentist Thursday) the infection finally subsided. Which is odd, because my Dentist’s name is “Allan”

      • Maghlawatan on February 13, 2017, 1:55 pm

        Allanhu akbar

    • Maghlawatan on February 10, 2017, 8:01 am

      Ron Knee remains ashen faced about Israel as do most of the supporters of Neasden FC including Sid and Doris Bonkers.

      • RoHa on February 10, 2017, 8:50 am

        And tight lipped, too, I should think.

        But Lord Gnome’s financial interests make him a staunch supporter of Israel.

      • Maghlawatan on February 10, 2017, 5:36 pm

        I am not sure. I have seen critical articles concerning Israel. The magazine focuses more on the UK rather than foreign affairs

  6. DaBakr on February 9, 2017, 4:08 pm

    And yet, ms. Zoabi travels freely around the nation she espouses as illegitimate unmolested. In fact, poor Zoabi was so victimized that she was convicted of assaulting a police officer (who did nothing to harm her) .

    I was just about ready to see if this group had any credibility and then popped out Zoabi as the biggest victim. Oh wow, what a surprise. As surprising as itb would be to report that trump generates more ‘impassioned’ (read: violent, angry, hysterical, racist, etc) tweets then any President b4 him. Zoabi is a totally self- made lightning rod and would be a total nothing were she not generating highly controversial opinions and discussion including comments from racist bigoted Israelis and hate filled self righteous Arabs.

    • talknic on February 9, 2017, 6:06 pm

      ZioDiversion 101

      @ DaBakr February 9, 2017, 4:08 pm

      … ms. Zoabi travels freely around the nation she espouses as illegitimate unmolested. In fact, poor Zoabi was so victimized that she was convicted of assaulting a police officer (who did nothing to harm her) .”

      So? Is the information the organization provides valid or not?

      • Susan A on February 12, 2017, 10:45 am

        Clearly it is! Who does DaBakr choose to pick on? The Knesset member most attacked!

    • Elizabeth Block on February 9, 2017, 6:35 pm

      I just googled “Zoabi assault police” and all that came up was the time SHE was assaulted by Jewish MPs right in the Knesset.

  7. Elizabeth Block on February 9, 2017, 6:26 pm

    As anyone knows who is even slightly conversant with the history of the 19th and 20th centuries, first come words, then come deeds. Of course the deeds have already come.

  8. Maghlawatan on February 10, 2017, 8:06 am

    Why does Mondo use the Israeli term Arabs which in Jewish hate culture refers exclusively to Palestinians? Yossi Israeli never incites violence against Algerians or Omani.

  9. Ossinev on February 10, 2017, 1:42 pm

    I still occasionally read and enjoy Private Eye not least because it is an ongoing Eye opener (pun intended) on the top to bottom scams and frauds in UK governance. I have to admit I find it strangely mute on Israel`s Apartheid frolics and am not quite sure why this is the case as there is no real live Lord Gnome financing / Ziotweaking it.From time to time it does however hit the I/P nail on the head:

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