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July 11, 2016 0

Violent East Jerusalem Graffiti Suggests Incitement Seeping Into Palestinian Daily Life

Graf­fiti recently on view in East Jerusalem, includ­ing on Salah El-Din street (the area’s main busi­ness dis­trict), high­lights the incite­ment to vio­lence seep­ing into the daily lives of hun­dreds of thou­sands of Pales­tini­ans liv­ing in that area. It serves as a reminder of the fragility of the rel­a­tive calm Jerusalem has enjoyed in recent weeks, hav­ing pre­vi­ously been a focal point in the wave of Pales­tin­ian ter­ror which began in Sep­tem­ber of 2015, often referred to as the “Knives Intifada” because of the fre­quent stab­bing attacks. Exam­ples of this hate­ful graf­fiti include an image of a hand hold­ing a knife with the Ara­bic cap­tions “stab”  and “The Jerusalem Intifada,” and an icon of a Pales­tin­ian hurl­ing a Molo­tov cock­tail with the cap­tion “resist.”

Other exam­ples include a map of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza with the cap­tion “From the river to the sea”, sug­gest­ing that the Pales­tin­ian state should stretch from the Mediter­ranean to the Jor­dan River, thereby elim­i­nat­ing the State of Israel. Also spray painted are slo­gans call­ing for addi­tional acts of Pales­tin­ian ter­ror, with graf­fiti read­ing “The armed strug­gle till the liberation/long live the Intifada” and “The Intifada con­tin­ues till the lib­er­a­tion of the land and the people.”

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November 5, 2015 0

Continued Publication of Anti-Semitic Themed Cartoons in the Arab and Muslim World

As Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ism across Israel per­sists, Arab and Mus­lim news­pa­pers and social media accounts con­tinue to pro­mote themes in sup­port of the vio­lence, which is often referred to as a “mass out­burst” or the “Knives Intifada.”

In addi­tion to the image of the knives, other themes are also being fea­tured. Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry’s recent efforts to end the vio­lence are depicted as Israel and Jews con­trol­ling the US and its lead­er­ship.  Exam­ples of car­toons pub­lished include a fig­ure rep­re­sent­ing the US trapped inside the Star of David, Uncle Sam being in the pocket of Israel and Sec­re­tary Kerry wip­ing the blood from the teeth of a wolf – which rep­re­sents Israel.

Another ever-present alle­ga­tion is the charge that Israel is attempt­ing to alter the status-quo on the Tem­ple Mount/Noble Sanc­tu­ary in Jerusalem.  These images show Israel as a sin­is­ter snake attack­ing the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Below are exam­ples of the car­toons published:

 

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October 20, 2015 0

This Intifada is in Your Social Media Feed

By Jonathan Green­blatt
CEO of the Anti-Defamation League

This arti­cle orig­i­nally appeared on The Times of Israel Blog

The knife, bran­dished in the air and drip­ping with blood, is the icon of the cur­rent wave of Pales­tin­ian vio­lence against Israelis. This visual is the new sym­bol cel­e­brat­ing the seem­ingly non-stop pro­lif­er­a­tion of attacks by Pales­tini­ans against Israelis – many of them stab­bings – and incites more hate, more ter­ror, more vio­lence to an audi­ence primed to act on it.

“The Social Media Intifada” is the title being used for the cur­rent spate of ter­ror attacks, fea­tured on Face­book and other social media plat­forms, where Pales­tin­ian attack­ers are cel­e­brated as mar­tyrs, heroes and even as vic­tims of Israeli bru­tal­ity. On Twit­ter, poten­tial ter­ror­ists are exhorted to stab and kill Jews. Videos of Mus­lim preach­ers call­ing for attacks on Jews (one while hold­ing a knife),even instruc­tional videos on how to stab effec­tively, go viral. Pro­lif­er­at­ing on social media are car­toons of attacks on Israelis and alle­ga­tions of a Jewish/Israeli con­spir­acy to take over the Al Aqsa mosque.

Pales­tin­ian incite­ment to vio­lence isn’t new, but the medium and the method is. Dur­ing pre­vi­ous peri­ods of Pales­tin­ian vio­lence – such as the Sec­ond Intifada – we saw calls for vio­lence and wide­spread anti-Israel and anti-Semitic con­spir­acy the­o­ries. Pub­lic squares, parks and schools were named in honor of those who per­pe­trated ter­ror­ist attacks against Israeli civil­ians. Pop­u­lar songs cel­e­brated the attack­ers. But behind most of the prior vio­lent chap­ters of the con­flict, it was the Pales­tin­ian lead­er­ship – the PLO, Hamas, Fatah, the Pales­tin­ian Author­ity, and oth­ers – who were pro­mot­ing and enabling the hate-filled mes­sages and the vio­lent action. Last Autumn, while social media emerged as a means of cel­e­brat­ing and encour­ag­ing vio­lence against Israelis, its impact was limited.

To be sure, in this cur­rent period, PA Pres­i­dent Abbas and other lead­er­ship are poi­son­ing the atmos­phere with incen­di­ary rhetoric. His fan­tas­ti­cal alle­ga­tion last week that Israel had “exe­cuted” a Pales­tin­ian boy – who was in real­ity being treated in an Israeli hos­pi­tal after stab­bing a 13-year-old rid­ing his bicy­cle near his Jerusalem home – is only the most recent example.

How­ever, at present, Israeli secu­rity experts say social media – not Pales­tin­ian lead­ers – is the pri­mary force dri­ving the vio­lence. The incite­ment, the mis­in­for­ma­tion, and the hate that inspire the stab­bings, shoot­ings, rock throw­ing and car ram­ming attacks are spread­ing via smart phone — and con­stantly. Ter­ror­ists who were killed mid-attack are upheld as heroes and mar­tyrs, their deadly actions ignored.

And, yes, there are also Israelis who are post­ing hate-filled incen­di­ary mes­sages, includ­ing calls for “death to Arabs” and a “sec­ond Nakba.” While there have been only a hand­ful of vio­lent attacks by Israelis against Arabs in recent weeks, the risk of more Israeli vio­lence increases as this cri­sis goes on.

Social media can mobi­lize for good and for evil. Demo­c­ra­tic forces in the Jas­mine Rev­o­lu­tion and Tahrir Square used Twit­ter and Face­book to orga­nize against author­i­tar­ian rule in the Arab Spring. Viral videos of peo­ple dump­ing ice water on their heads raised mil­lions to find a cure for ALS. Social media has raised pub­lic aware­ness of a plethora of social jus­tice issues – from #Bring­Back­Our­Girls to #Black­Lives­Mat­ter. But social media has also enabled ISIS and other extrem­ist ter­ror­ist groups and their sup­port­ers to recruit youth from around the world to join their vio­lent cause. And on this side of the ledger, we can add the cur­rent wave of violence.

ADL pro­motes two approaches to address this prob­lem: remov­ing incen­di­ary speech and chal­leng­ing hate speech with good speech. For years, we have been work­ing with social media com­pa­nies to improve poli­cies and pro­to­cols for the removal of con­tent that incites vio­lence or big­otry, con­tent that is con­trary to the com­pa­nies’ terms of ser­vice. But we also pro­mote counter-speech, where activists and all con­cerned peo­ple use social media to con­demn vio­lence, to urge mod­er­a­tion, and even to try to dis­suade poten­tial ter­ror­ists before they move to action.

The real­ity is, what hap­pens online reflects what’s going on in soci­ety. In order for counter-speech to be an effec­tive tool address­ing the “social media Intifada,” those with influ­ence, whether in the online world or in world capi­tols, need to con­demn Pales­tin­ian incite­ment and ter­ror­ism clearly and unequiv­o­cally. Inter­net users who come across calls for vio­lence online, should report it imme­di­ately to the inter­net provider (see our guide to learn how). In many cases, such con­tent vio­lates their terms of ser­vice and the page will be removed.

The social media com­pa­nies we work with are mak­ing good faith efforts to enforce their poli­cies, but the con­tent that appears online can­not be divorced from real-world hate. It is still too early to know how this cur­rent chap­ter in the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict will develop. Let’s hope respon­si­ble voices and action prevail.

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