Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter have been credited with assisting the uprisings in the Middle East. What happens when those same outlets allow calls for terrorism?
Depending on whose numbers you want to believe, the first Intifada (Palestinian uprising against Israel) from 1987 to 1993 resulted in 1551 Palestinian deaths and 422 Israeli deaths, with scores more injured.
The second Intifada ran from 2000 to 2005 and left 4269 Palestinians and 1017 Israelis dead.
Back on March 6th a new Facebook page appeared, “Third Palestinian Intifada”. This new page is calling for the third Intifada against Israel. It includes quotes and video clips calling for the killing of Jews and Israelis, and for "liberating" Jerusalem and Palestine using violence. It also directs people to other related content on Twitter, YouTube and other sites.
One of the videos from the “Third Intifada Page.”
Between my own Facebook pages as well as those who responded and posted the same request on their own walls, this page was reported to Facebook thousands if not hundreds of thousands of times.
When I became aware of this page on March 10th the “Third Palestinian Intifada” page already had
100,000 “likes.” For those unfamiliar with Facebook, any public page can be clicked by anyone with a Facebook account that they like or agree with the page. It would be similar to joining that group.
As of this writing, the page now has over 331,000 and is growing at a rate of approximately 25,000 new members or “likes” a day.
I have been down this road before many times. I often post on my wall details of any group that promotes hate or calls for the violence against others. Last July I wrote about another page that needed to be removed from Facebook.
After weeks of reporting this page to Facebook along with thousands of others, I resorted to writing an article about these types of pages and targeted the one particular page that I wanted pulled down. I am happy to say that because of you, the readers, reporting that page that it was pulled down by Facebook within days of my article appearing.
This page is much different though, this is not some random hate page with rants or threats about Jews and Israel, this page is calling for an organized revolution and death to Israel.
The date they are calling for the start of this “Third Palestinian Intifada” is also very significant. May 15 is the Palestinian Nakba Day or the “day of the catastrophe” and the anniversary of the establishment of Israel in 1948.
Some of the “Third Palestinian Intifada” translates as follows:
The march to Palestine will start in the neighboring countries of Palestine on May 15th. After our recent recognition we will be marching throughout all Islamic countries and Palestine will be liberated and free. Our goal is to reach millions of subscribers on this page before May, rise up, publish this page everywhere, we are coming O Palestine.
Copy the link, put it in your profile, and publish it with your pictures and videos and with all pages everywhere.
After the intifada uprising of Egypt, Tunisian and Libya, it is time for the Palestinian Intifada. The first Palestinian uprising was in 1987 and was the second Palestinian intifada was the year 2000. The third Palestinian uprising will be decided soon on this page.
We are communicating with the directors of other Arabic pages that have large numbers of participants and they said they will help us in the dissemination of this page.
The Palestinian cause is our cause. Publish this page on the sites, forums and elsewhere and invite all your friends to participate. If everyone is invited, all friends and Gods will, we will reach more than 100,000 members a day.
This page was created 03/06/2011. God willing we will reach a million this week. It is time for the Liberation of Palestine.
Any person who has a page on Facebook please publish this. We will liberate Palestine and be free. We are coming, O Palestine.
Unlike most Facebook pages that state the names of the creator(s) of the page, the creators of this page refuse to reveal their identity or location. They identify themselves only as Palestinians. They also claim that after "popular intifadas" have toppled the Tunisian and Egyptian governments, it is now the turn of the Palestinian intifada to take place and go on to state,
"If Facebook blocked this page, all Muslims will boycott Facebook forever!"
Given what we have seen in recent weeks throughout the Middle East do we really need to wonder if this page can actually accomplish what it is asking? Those asking for this page to be shut down is no small list. As the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website noted recently,
A Facebook page calling for a third Palestinian intifada is abusing technology to promote terrorist violence and should be taken down, the Anti-Defamation League said.
But this goes much farther, last Wednesday a representative of the State of Israel, Minister Edelstein, asked that the page be shut down. As explained in an article in Ynetnews,
A month after the launch of a Facebook group calling for a third Intifada, Minister of Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein sent a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg Wednesday, demanding that the page calling a Palestinian uprising be shut down immediately.
Yuli Edelstein believed that there must be a discernable difference between freedom of expression and freedom to incite.
So where does all this end?
A recent article in the World Jewish Daily explained one possibility,
Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense and conservative pundit Frank Gaffney imagines the following scenario:
It begins with the Palestinian Authority seeking a UN Security Council resolution that would recognize its unilateral declaration of statehood. The U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, one of the prime movers behind the resolution that authorized the use of force against Qaddafi, and a vehement critic of Israel, urges that the United States abstain, rather than veto the Palestinians’ gambit. She is joined in that recommendation by a kindred spirit at the Obama National Security Council, Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs Samantha Power, and by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose unalloyed sympathy for the Palestinian cause dates back at least to her days as First Lady.
This resolution enjoys the support of the other four veto-wielding Security Council members--Russia, China, Britain and France--as well as the all of the other non-permanent members except India, which joins the United States in abstaining. As a result, it is adopted with overwhelming support from what is known as the “international community.”
Israel finds itself on the wrong side of internationally recognized borders and the Palestinians demand that Israel remove all settlements and checkpoints. The Palestinians launch thousands of rockets against Israel to emphasize their point. Israel fights back and the Palestinians then ask for international help in "liberating" their land.
As with the Qaddafi precedent, writes Gaffney, the first to act is the Arab League. Its members unanimously endorse the use of force to protect the “Palestinian people” and end the occupation of the West Bank by the Israelis.
Clinton, Power and Rice urge Obama to align himself with the “will of the international community" and Obama complies, citing the Libyan precedent.
Sound scary? Conservative blogger Ed Lasky points out that part of this scenario has already come about.
I have been warning the last few days that Barack Obama's endorsement of the trendy Responsibility to Protect Doctrine (R2P) was opening a Pandora's Box and could be used by groups to attack Israel. Yesterday we had Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister calling on the world to bomb Israel to protect Palestinian civilians (since the UN, the Arab League, and Barack Obama have validated this approach to protect civilians in Libya). Today, R2P is now being used by the Palestinians to pressure Israel.
Add to the above scenario another Intifada and it does not sound that preposterous does it?
Facebook should have closed down this page yesterday! Although 331,000 plus people have seen and passed it on already, it could still be much worse.
Now that an Israeli Minister has personally asked Facebook founder/owner Mark Zuckerberg to shut down the page, and it still remains up it, I must ask: what is Zuckerberg’s real agenda? He cannot claim that he is unaware of this page at this point.
Facebook’s terms are very specific,
You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.
You will not use Facebook to do anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory.
Facebook explains that if you violate any of the terms of service your Facebook page will be shut down.
I would think, without too much effort I might add, that promoting an uprising of violence to kill Jews and Israelis as well as the overthrow of the entire State of Israel violates the policy of hate and violence.
As I asked last July, please take 5 minutes and report this page, share it with others and together we can get this hateful incitement removed.
Maybe Mark Zuckerberg should re-read his own words,
“If it were a country, it would be the sixth most populated country in the world. Our terms aren't just a document that protect our rights; it's the governing document for how the service is used by everyone across the world. Given its importance, we need to make sure the terms reflect the principles and values of the people using the service.”
Mark, where are your “principles and values”?