TEL AVIV – Israeli lawmakers called on Facebook to remove posts that incite terror against Israelis following Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s statement that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has “blood on his hands.”
Fellow members of Knesset agreed with Erdan’s assessment, which came in the wake of last week’s terrorist attacks.
MK Merav Ben-Ari (Kulanu) said, “Facebook is supposed to connect people, but unfortunately, these connections often create expressions of hatred and even incitement to murder.”
Ben-Ari further accused Facebook of not taking threats towards Israelis seriously and said the social media giant was full of hypocrisies, the Jerusalem Post reported.
MK Revital Swid (Zionist Union) agreed, noting that after recent terrorist attacks in Europe, Facebook began to remove inciting messages automatically, but it failed to do in regard to Israel despite her months-old request.
National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud), added that Facebook was quick to heed President Barack Obama’s request that posts from the Islamic State be removed.
“When big America said IS content can lead to terrorism and violence, Facebook respected that and took steps to remove IS messages, justifiably so. So, in the same way, we must demand that content calling to murder Jews and messages from Hamas and Islamic Jihad and from individuals calling to murder Jews, who say to destroy and expel them … must be removed,” Steinitz said.
Steinitz apportioned much of the blame for the murder of Israeli teenager Hallel Ariel to Facebook.
“A Palestinian teen entered the home of an Israeli and killed a 13-year-old who was asleep in bed. The probably would not have happened if the incitement hadn’t entered his home and he wasn’t surrounded by these messages online,” he said.
However, Michal Rozin, an MK from the leftwing Meretz party, disagreed with Erdan’s assertion that Facebook shoulders some of the responsibility, saying instead that the “occupation” was the reason there are terror attacks against Israelis.
“Why does [Erdan] suddenly have a problem with Facebook? Let’s admit it. He has a problem with Facebook because we have a wave of terrorism and the government doesn’t have any answers for it, as we can see. … He found someone to blame,” she said.
Steinitz called for Rozin to “stop trying to sell us this lie that no occupation would mean no terrorism” and added that France, America, and the Yazidis are not occupiers yet they are still facing terror attacks.
In addition, Steinitz said, there were plenty of terrorist attacks that took place before 1967 and Israel’s conquest of the disputed territories. He added that Gaza was a breeding ground for terrorists despite Israel’s evacuation of the coastal enclave in 2005.