Peak in Arab incitement - after Trump embassy pledge

Justice Minister reveals that greatest wave of Palestinian Arab incitement in 2017 came after Trump's pledge to move embassy to Jerusalem.

Uzi Baruch ,

Shaked at conference, this morning
Shaked at conference, this morning
Sasson Tiram

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on Tuesday led an international conference on combating incitement within the framework of the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism of the Foreign and Diaspora Ministries.

In her speech, Minister Shaked revealed data on internet incitement in 2017. According to data from the State Attorney's Office's Cyber ​​Department, the biggest event that led to a wave of incitement and calls for terror was US President Donald Trump's announcement of the US Embassy in Israel transfer from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"On this occasion, I would like to thank President Trump once again for announcing that the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem is to be on Israel's Independence Day, which will occur a month and a half from now. It is a most worthy gift for the 70th Independence Day of the State of Israel," Shaked emphasized.

"In any case, this event, which received great media attention in Israel and around the world, led to an extreme response from some Palestinians, calling for violence and terrorism against Israelis."

In 2017, the cyber department of the State Attorney's Office filed 12,351 requests to remove content, restrict access and filter search results for prohibited content. This marks a significant increase in the activity of the Ministry of Justice in the struggle against online incitement compared to the previous year: in 2016 only 2,241 applications were submitted.

73.5% of the content that providers were asked to address dealt with terror activity and support for terrorism; 25.5% related to incitement to terrorism, racism and violence; The rest of the activity focused on offenses of infringement of privacy, cyberbullying and more. Most of the requests were answered, but Shaked stressed: "We expect that companies also monitor incitement content themselves."

Shaked detailed the actions taken by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Public Security to eradicate incitement on the Internet, such as a law, for which the legislative process was completed six months ago, preventing access to websites that include the activity of terror organizations, and the”Facebook law,” currently in advanced stages of its legislative process.

In light of the instructions given by Minister Shaked two years ago, the cyber department has created tools for dealing with incitement to terror and hatred on the internet. The activity is also the result of cooperation between law enforcement officials and online platforms. Last night, Shaked accused Twitter of ignoring requests to remove incitement content, and announced that it would consider taking legal action against it.

"The terrorist organizations switched to Twitter instead of Facebook. The reason is simple: Facebook responds effectively to our requests to remove the contents of terrorism, while Twitter ignores them. We are considering legal action against them."

According to Shaked, "It is clear that the perpetrators of terror attacks in Israel are directly affected by the supply of incitement material, but we also discovered that after large terrorist attacks, the social networks are flooded with incitement content, hatred, anti-Semitism and support for terrorism."

"I would like to emphasize that this event is not about legitimate criticism of Israel or the US. This is a call against explicit violence, against Israelis, against Israeli targets, against Jews."

"This incitement, which is unfortunately also shared by the Palestinian Authority, requires our unique efforts together with the social networks to disinfect the web from this despicable discourse. With a clear understanding of the connection between incitement and terrorism, the Justice Ministry, under my leadership, is making considerable efforts to deal with illegal content on the Internet. This includes, first of all, incitement content and terrorism, but also other types of hate content: cyberbullying, publishing sexual content without the consent of the photographed person, and content that incites to racism. "