A new report has found that last year Israelis incited against Palestinians on social media every 66 seconds, pointing to a worrying increase in anti-Palestinian rhetoric.
The report – which was conducted by 7amleh: The Arab Centre for the Advancement of Social Media and distributed by Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network – found that, in 2018, Israelis posted “inciting content” every 66 seconds, up from every 71 seconds in 2017.
In addition, one in ten social media posts against Palestinian citizens of Israel denied Palestinian identity, contained hate speech or calls for violence such as rape and murder, the Jerusalem Postreported yesterday, citing 7amleh’s findings.
The report also noted that, “in total, in 2018 there were some 474,250 inciting posts against Palestinians on Israeli social networks,” the main catalyst for this being the controversial Nation-State Law.
The law, which was passed in July last year, declared Israel the “historical home of the Jewish people” and stated that “the right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people”. This effectively rendered Israel’s some 1.8 million Palestinian citizens, as well as the country’s myriad minority populations such as the Druze and Armenians, second class citizens.
The report notes that many of these inciting social media posts were directed against Israel’s Palestinian politicians, most of whom are Knesset Members (MKs) with the Hadash-Ta’al or Ra’am-Balad alliance. These Arab-Israeli politicians have come under repeated attack, not only from the Jewish-Israeli public but also from their colleagues in the Knesset.
This incitement was thrust into the spotlight once again by Israel’s general election last month, during which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used anti-Palestinian rhetoric to drive voters to the polls. In an echo of his controversial 2015 campaign message – that right-wing voters must vote Likud to counter Palestinian citizens going to the polls “in droves” – Netanyahu coined the slogan “it’s either Bibi or Tibi”, a move vehemently condemned by Arab-Israeli politician Ahmad Tibi whose name the mantra employed.