Israel Asks YouTube to Remove Incitement Videos

Israel asks Facebook and YouTube to remove videos it says have been encouraging Palestinian violence against Israelis.

Elad Benari ,

YouTube (illustration)
YouTube (illustration)

Israel on Thursday asked Facebook and YouTube to remove videos it says have been encouraging Palestinian violence against Israelis in the past week, Haaretz reported.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon, providing an excerpt from a letter sent to Google Israel, whose parent company owns YouTube, said contact had also been made with Facebook.

"The videos depict recent terror attacks, praise the assailants and present Jews and Israelis in a hateful and racist manner, and since their publishing, three more attacks have taken place so far," the letter said, according to Haaretz.

Spokespeople for Facebook and Google said they could not comment on specific videos or contacts with governments.

However, Google spokesman Paul Solomon did note, "YouTube has clear policies that prohibit content like gratuitous violence, hate speech and incitement to commit violent acts, and we remove videos violating these policies when flagged by our users."

Videos in question include one uploaded by the Hamas terrorist group reenacting the gruesome murder of Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin, who were shot dead in their car in front of their four children last week. The video was subsequently removed from YouTube.

Of course, both Hamas and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah group are notorious for their incitement to terrorism against Israel.

For example, a video released earlier this week in Gaza shows an Arab wearing a black-and-white kefiyeh watching Arab riots on his cell phone. Two Arab actors dressed as crude caricatures of religious Jews are seen pushing Arab children and passing him by.

The teen then draws a knife and stabs the two to death.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely on Wednesday held an emergency meeting with the Foreign Ministry's administrative department and discussed practical measures to combat increasing Palestinian incitement.

Among other steps, the Ministry has launched a media campaign of its own, and an inter-ministerial team will be formed to prepare a series of informational videos on the subject of Palestinian incitement.