Israel’s War on Facebook

I mean the title of this article in two ways: first, the Shabak is at war with Palestinians using social media in order to express their nationalist political views. Second, the Israeli far-right is using Facebook as a potent means to advance its own genocidal views against Palestinians. If that sounds like a double standard…well, welcome to Israel, the land of hypocrisy and double standards.

For example, last week the Shabak hauled a Palestinian in for interrogation because he called Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, the “mayor of Occupation.” Haaretz notes that four months ago, the police arrested 13 young East Jerusalem bloggers who complained about the “politics of Occupation” and damage to Al Aqsa Mosque. Their lawyer pointed out that charges were filed against eight of them, but none of the charges involved anything they’d posted. All charges were dredged up in the subsequent interrogation and applied post facto.

Another Palestinian social media activist was jailed on charges that his Twitter and Facebook postings supported a “terror organization.” His detention was extended by the court with the claim that his alleged crimes were “serious” and if he was released he would likely endanger the public peace and security and damage the investigation. All this due to a tweet!! Who’d have thought they could be so subversive as to threaten an entire nation?

After his release, his lawyer discovered that the posts the police grilled him about were anywhere from a year to two years old. Which raises the question: if they were so dangerous why hadn’t the police investigated them at the time they were published? Did they become dangerous only after the police discovered them? One of the gravest charges raised by the police was his publication of a song by the Lebanese singer, Julia Boutrous, which speaks of the Palestinian longing for homeland. Apparently, only Jews can long for their homeland as they do when they sing the HaTikva. Another aspect of the questioning involved the victim’s call to protest against the Prawer Plan. Apparently, Palestinians are not allowed to have opinions freely granted to hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens who opposed this travesty perpetrated against Israeli Bedouin. The coup de grace is that the police deemed this man so dangerous that they conducted the investigation in secret and allowed his attorney to have no contact with him.

jewish terror facebook group

Jewish terrorist Facebook group, Everyone for Death to Terrorists!

As for Israeli right-wing social media activists: they may treat the web as the Devil’s Playground. It’s a veritable online refuge of hate. In a separate article, Haaretz notes (Hebrew) two of the worst examples of such hatemongering are the Facebook pages for “Revenge of the Jews” and “Death to Terrorists” (61,000 likes). The first is replete with pictures of beaten up Palestinians with blood pouring from their head wounds as they lay in hospital beds after throwing stones or trying to seduce Jewish girls. The crimes are assumed and guilt is certain. There is no such thing as “allegedly” when Palestinians are concerned.

There are multiple trophy photos of price tag attacks showing damage caused to Palestinian cars and property likely by the photographers themselves. There’s a picture of a Molotov cocktail thrown by a pogromist at a Palestinian home which caused fire damage. There is a photo of a brutal attack by Jews on a Sudanese refugees assaulted after a protest in which the refugees demanded their rights. There are paeans to the holy memory of homicidal maniacs like Baruch Goldstein (“How happy we are and how good our portion [in life] to have had a Baruch such as this!”).

baruch goldstein

A loving memorial to settler serial killer, Baruch Goldstein

The forte of Death to Terrorists seems to be celebrating the murder of Palestinian “terrorists.” They’re accompanied by the jovial statement: “Can you ‘like’ [Israeli] killers [of terrorists]?” There are photos of those who’ve been executed by Israel security forces, and huzzahs all around for the brave boys of Tzahal who save us from these ruthless killers. The moral is “the only good Palestinian is a dead Palestinian.” There’s a photo of two proud settler extremists violating security regulations by infiltrating the Temple Mount. They each have huge smiles on their faces in the knowledge that they are fomenting tension and conflict with the Waqf which administers the site.

Some members are willing to go far afield to satisfy their Muslim-hatred. One posts a Hebrew article about the Uighur attack on a Chinese railway station in which 29 were killed:

Muslims savagely slaughtered (as only they know how) 29 residents on a train. Suspicion: Muslim terror.

Never mind that Islam has nothing to do with Uighur grievances against Chinese authorities. That’s far too much nuance for these haters to grasp.

Let’s call this what it is: Jewish terrorism flagrantly flouting Israeli law by promoting and inciting hate and violence against Palestinians. But don’t be surprised. The Israeli state is complicit in this terrorism not only by not combating it; but also through its own enabling behavior. All a settler has to do is see his fellow settlers serving in the Border Police executing an unarmed Palestinian inside his home to know that their own genocidal views are ratified by the State itself. They know either they can get away with murder (literally) or that if they’re arrested they receive nothing more than a pat on the back and encouragement to go out there and commit more mayhem and mischief. The Israeli police and security services aren’t being incompetent or lax in not combatting this patently illegal activity. Many of the members of these groups are the very same police and security personnel who are supposed to uphold laws against racial and religious incitement. They are the foxes inside the hen house, even running it!

Richard Silverstein has been writing Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, since February 2003. It focuses on exposing the excesses of the Israeli national security state. He also created the Israel Palestine Forum, a discussion forum for progressives about the I-P conflict. Read other articles by Richard, or visit Richard's website.