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Israelis post anti-Arab racism online every 46 seconds, study finds

A new study shows that Israeli Jews publushed 675,000 racist posts on social media in 2016 — a dangerous increase from 2015, when only 280,000 such posts were published.

7amleh statistics

Every 46 seconds an Israeli Jew publishes a racist or inciting comment against Arabs on Facebook and other social networks, a new study finds. According to the Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media (7amleh), which published its Index for Racism and Incitement on Social Media last week, 60,000 active Israeli social media users published at least one racist post against Arabs in 2016.

According to the study there were over 675,000 such posts in the previous year, published at a rate of one post every 46 seconds — a dangerous increase from 2015, when 280,000 racist and inciting posts were published.

7amleh’s study also focused on the correlation between remarks made by high-level government officials and the amount of inciting posts. One can see a clear increase in the number of racist posts against Arabs following every inciting remark by a member of the government.

The sharpest spikes in racist posts came following remarks by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against Arab citizens, following the fires that raged across Israel and the West Bank in November 2016, which leaders blamed on nationalistically-motivated arson. Miri Regev’s comments against Palestinian rapper Tamer Nafar and poet Mahmoud Darwish also led to a higher volume of incitement on the internet.

Another sharp increase was felt throughout the trial of Elor Azaria, an Israeli soldier who was found guilty of killing an incapacitated Palestinian in Hebron early last year.

Haneen Zoabi is removed by Knesset security on February 8, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Haneen Zoabi is removed by Knesset security on February 8, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

According to the study, the Israeli media serves as the main inspiration for racist posts against Arabs. Much of the hatred and incitement is directed at Palestinian politicians, who are frequently mentioned in both the media and who are incited against by Israeli politicians. MK Haneen Zoabi was the most frequent target of incitement and racism, with 60,000 posts directed at her. Ahmed Tibi was subjected to 40,000 posts, closely followed by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with 30,000 and Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh with 25,000.

7amleh published the following video:

Institutionalized racism works

7amleh’s report was a result of repeated accusations by Israeli politicians that Palestinians take part in incitement against Israeli Jews on social media. These accusations led to the arrests of Palestinian activists, often when they had committed no such crime. According to 7amleh, Israel is putting pressure on companies such as Facebook and Google to reveal data on its users so as to make it easier to track and arrest them.

According to human rights organizations, over 200 criminal cases have been opened against Palestinian activists who have been accused of incitement on the internet. On the other hand, only a few Israeli Jews have been arrested for anti-Arab incitement on social media.

7amleh’s study was conducted by Vigo, an Tel Aviv-based company that specializes in monitoring and studying social media outlets. The company used a search algorithm based on 100 names and key words used among Palestinians, crosschecking them with racist words or incitement to violence that often appears on social media in Israel.

This article first appeared in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

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    1. carmen

      I’m not surprised. The most ire is directed at Haneen Zoabi, which should be a revelation to those who claim israel is so modern and so democratic when in actuality it is as backwards as any 3rd world country, with fear and loathing for a menstruating female.

      Reply to Comment
      • Itshak Gordin Halevy

        Zoabi’s (and her friends) behavior made her unbearable for many Israelis (Jews and Arabs). This explains the reaction of a part of the population. A minority must have a very good behavior to be accepted by the majority of the People.The Israeli Druzes understood it very well and we can find them at all the levels of the society.

        Reply to Comment
      • Mark

        Haneen Zoabi is 47 years old. Unless you have access to personal information, Carmen, comments about menstruating females are wholly out of order. Perhaps you should limit yourself to her shrill, lout and intransigent voice opposing any sort of coexistence.

        As far as I can make out, she has the highest international profile of any woman professional politician in the whole of Arab world. A situation only made possible by her citizenship of the state of Israel. Elsewhere she’d be squashed like an ant.

        Reply to Comment
        • carmen

          Let me fix that for you Mark – Perhaps you should limit yourself to her shrill, lout and intransigent voice opposing any sort of coexistence; a situation only made possible by her citizenship of the state of Israel.

          “Elsewhere she’d be squashed like an ant”. I can’t figure out why comments from posters such as yourself on 972 weren’t included in the above statistics.

          As far as menstruating female comments “wholly out of order”? Then hold your nose and clutch your pearls dear.

          Reply to Comment
        • Baladi Akka 1948

          What the hell are you talking about ? Isn’t that amazing to see how hasbara try to tale credit for Haneen Zoabi’s “international profile”.
          I’m sure much more people around the world know Hanan Ashrawi, but both are representing the Palestinian people bravely.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      And if we speak about the antisemitism of the Arabs of Eretz Israel? The Jews offend but the Arabs kill..

      Reply to Comment
      • Mark Connor

        What a ridiculous and racist comment. The Dawabshe family was burned alive by Jewish terrorists, but according to your “reasoning” this doesn’t count.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Lazerstrat

      It’s hardly surprising when we hear statements such as these from Israeli ministers. For a country that continually claims to be the victim these proclamations hardly sound like overtures to peace.
      https://youtu.be/5utTDGS3B_Q

      Reply to Comment
      • Carmen

        Thank you for posting that link. I have a lot of respect for Mr. Barrett.

        Reply to Comment
      • Baladi Akka 1948

        This is my favorite intervention by Richard Boyd Barrett, look at the Israeli ambassafor and his wife …. when you know how they’ve tried to interfere in Irish politics. Love that Irish accent too
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRvpJFNQwX4

        Reply to Comment
        • carmen

          That was awesome, but was that woman next to the israeli ambassador really his wife or his laywer? The smug look on her face was disgusting, but did nothing to stop Mr. Barrett. Man of honor.

          Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            Yep, that woman is the wife of the Israeli ambassador. I can’t remember her name, but she’s been involved in various incidents related to bad hasbara. I think Electronic Intifada and maybe Richard Silverstein posted articles about her/them.

            Reply to Comment
          • Carmen

            You’re right – her name is Nurit and she served as the deputy to her husband, the ambassador to Ireland. About this (un)lovely couple:

            “Harassment of female employee[edit]

            While he was Head of the Instruction Branch in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Moda’i was investigated by police for harassing a woman in his office. The Jerusalem District Police received a complaint from Moda’i’s previous employee, who complained of receiving harassing phone calls from an unidentified number. Police traced the phone number to Moda’i, who said he believed the woman had caused him sleepless nights by spreading rumors he had been having an affair. He therefore felt she should not have any sleep either. The Jerusalem police issued Moda’i a restraining order, reported the incidents to the Foreign Service Commission, and recommended that Moda’i be prosecuted.[13]

            Diplomatic faux pas[edit]

            The Moda’i couple, acting as ambassador and his deputy, have been named in connection with a series of gaffes committed via social media postings.
            “If Jesus and mother Mary were alive today, they would, as Jews without security, probably end up being lynched in Bethlehem by hostile Palestinians.” Illustrated by an icon of Jesus of the Sacred Heart and Virgin Mary with the heart pierced by a sword. During Christmas season, on Embassy Facebook posting, 17 December 2012.[14] The Times of Israel reported that “some people demanded the ambassador in Dublin be fired,” while a Foreign Ministry spokesperson in Jerusalem said, “We will of course conduct an internal investigation to determine how such a post could have been uploaded.”[15]
            A posting was linked to an article stating “The UN has itself become a tool against Israel. Hitler couldn’t have been made happier.”, and introduced with Embassy’s own remark “It’s from 2011 but it’s always relevant.” Embassy Facebook and Twitter posting, 6 August 2013.[16]
            Mona Lisa wearing a hijab and holding a rocket, with the words “Israel now, Paris later” and described by Haaretz as the most recent in a series of less than tactful, social media posts “Don’t say we didn’t warn you.” Tweeted in the week after the January 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.[17]
            Palestinian flag with superimposed photo of Adolf Hitler and the text “Free Palestine – Now!” and message “Hamas take lead from Hitler”. Posted on Embassy Twitter account during 2014 Gaza war, 23 July 2014.[18]
            – In another incident, Israel’s Channel 10 TV station published an email sent by Tinari Moda’i to senior Foreign Ministry officials. In it she offers that Israeli expats living in Ireland who are criticising Israel, are doing so due to psychological and sexual identity problems, suggesting that they should be targeted and publicly embarrassed:
            “We can find names of [those] Israelis… we should hit their soft spot, publish their pictures, maybe it will embarrass their friends and relatives at home, and hopefully the local [Palestinian] activists will think that they work for the Mossad… The acts of these activists are, I think, not ideologically motivated, but rather have to do with psychological reasons (disappointment with their parents or problems with their sexual identity) or due to their need to receive a residence permit (refugee visa) in one of the European countries…”

            Ughhh, keep it classy Moda’i.

            Reply to Comment
    4. i_like-ike52

      Gee, what a surprise. Zoabi curses Israel at every opportunity and works for its eradication, openly. So why do you think Israelis don’t like her?

      I once looked at a Lebanese blog in English. There were dozens of comments with bloodcurdling curses from pro- and anti-Assad people directed at each other. Whatever Israelis may say about Arabs pales in comparison to what Arabs say about Jews and even each other.

      Reply to Comment
      • carmen

        “Whatever Israelis may say about Arabs pales in comparison to what Arabs say about Jews and even each other.”

        ‘We go to heaven, you go to hell’: Israeli settlers caught on video threatening to kill Palestinians in Hebron Israel/PalestineMiddle East Allison Deger on February 10, 2017 – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/02/settlers-threatening-palestinians/#sthash.TLgi7LLj.dpuf

        Reply to Comment
        • i_like_ike52

          What do you make of the incidents when Palestinians distribute candies when they hear of terrorist attacks against Jews? What do you make of it when the official Palestinian Authority praises terrorists who targeted and killed civilians and names parks, streets and schools after them?
          So you find some Jews who yell not nice things. It is ACTIONS that count and when we see Muslim/Arabs butchering each other in the hundreds of thousands like we see in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and other places, that is where the area of concern lies….but not Mondoweiss or all the other “progressive” hypocrites.

          Reply to Comment
          • carmen

            Look over there, not here. Talk about Syria, not ‘some jews who yell not nice things’. Calling for murder is ‘not nice things’? Okay then, passing out candies is ‘not nice things’ either. But what about it? What about the topic Ike? What about the topic?

            Reply to Comment
          • i_like_ike52

            You know darned well that those who yelled these things aren’t going to do anything in reality. You know darned well ALL societies have people that say bad things. But the goal of the “progressives” here and other places is to tar Israel’s image and say it is uniquely evil society that is not fit to be part of the “civilized” nations of the world. That is why you posted that meaningless piece. Fortunately, most people know that this isn’t true and the fact that “progressives” show such blatant hypocrisy in cursing out Israel while totally ignoring real, malignant human rights violations in the Arab/Muslim countries neighboring Israel destroys your credibility.

            Reply to Comment
          • carmen

            You go off like a roman candle with the suggestion of parity between passing out candies and ‘saying not nice things’. Hypocrite. ‘Saying bad things’ is what we do to each other here. We don’t, at least I don’t, incite anyone to murder. That is done in a lot of places and in most of those places it is a crime. ‘Saying bad things’ must be ziospeak for incitement, which is fine for you as long as the incitement is from a jew to an arab, right?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “It is ACTIONS that count”

            Yep. The occupation is an action. A coordinated series of thousands of actions. Brutal premeditated action. Cruelty on a grand scale. It counts. These settlers who say “bad things” and at every turn and urge on soldiers to kill, are simply your forward proxies.

            “”those who yelled these things aren’t going to do anything in reality.”

            In fact they participate in lots of bad things every day of their lives in the service of the occupation. And they are your proxies. It is your action. You own it. You do it. Yes, it is actions that count.

            Reply to Comment
    5. Bruce Gould

      Excuse me. The early settlers in Israel were ‘posting’ bad things about the Arabs from the moment they stepped off the boat. This 1999 article from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs is the best piece on the early Zionist attitudes I can find:

      http://www.wrmea.org/1998-march/zionism-at-100-the-myth-of-palestine-as-a-land-without-people.html

      When Herzl himself visited Palestine, he seemed to ignore the local residents almost completely. Ernst Pawel writes: “The account of this visionary’s journey through both past and future is notable for one conspicuous blind spot. As Amos Elan has pointed out, the trip…took him through at least a dozen Arab villages, and in Jaffa itself, Jews formed only 10 percent—some 3,000—of the total population. Yet not once does he refer to the natives in his notes, nor do they ever seem to figure in his later reflections…

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        @Bruce

        From AJew to another Jew. That’s what you call yourself every time you address a post to me. You call yourself “Another Jew” but I am about to chastise you. And no doubt Benny will immediately butt in and he will chastise me in turn. But heck, I can take it. I will deal with Benny separately.

        But tell me this, “Another Jew”: tell me why do you always but always align yourself with those who declare themselves to be the enemies of your fellow Jews? In this case 6 million or so fellow Israeli Jews. Why are our enemies always right according to you and we are always wrong, Bruce? Take this little slogan of yours for example which you attribute to us:

        “A land without people for the people without a land,” completely overlooked the fact that the land in question was already populated and was hardly “empty.”

        Really? Is that so? Well then what about the fact that Jews started returning to Palestine around the mid 1800s. They joined Jews who always lived in Palestine (they never left). Jews who lived in places like Jerusalem, Tzefat, Hebron and Tiberias. And the total population of Palestine (Jews and Arabs) was around 350,000 people. In the same area, we now have about 12 million Arabs and Jews. And there is still room for more people to live here.

        But you are saying the land wasn’t empty? Technically of course you are right but in reality IT WAS virtually empty. Vast parts of the land was uncultivated. Places like Tel Aviv, Petach Tikva and Zichron Yaakov which the Zionists built up from scratch. And other similar places…

        So tell us Bruce (Another Jew) what was your point in trying to deny the above? What is in it for you to always line up with the enemies of your fellow Jews? A warm inner glow? Or is it something more sinister? Tell us, Bruce which is it? I really am curious.

        Reply to Comment
        • Baladi Akka 1948

          Rewriting history, eh ? Those Jews is Safad for instance were mostly Sefardic Jews expelled from al-Andalus after the Reconquista and resettled in Safad and elsewher in Ottoman Palestine by the Ottomans, by the way they were followed by Ashkenazi Jews when they heard of the good conditions, that how the ‘historical’ Jewish community in Safad was developed ….
          “Places like Tel Aviv (…) which the Zionists built up from scratch”
          Yeah, didn’t they …. they bought a piece of land with Arab villages on both sides, and today Tel Avov cover up att least the ruins of 7 Palestinian villages.

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Ok Baladi, you wanna trade atrocity stories and talk about the Jews of Tzefat (Safed)? Then read the following and just continue your arrogant finger pointing at us:

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1834_looting_of_Safed

            “The 1834 looting of Safed (Hebrew: ביזת צפת בשנת תקצ”ד‎, “Plunder of Safed, 5594 AM”) was prolonged attack against the Jewish community of Safed, Palestine, during the 1834 Peasants’ Revolt. It began on Sunday June 15 (7 Sivan), the day after the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, and lasted for the next 33 days.[1][2] Most contemporary accounts suggest it was a spontaneous attack which took advantage of a defenceless population in the midst of the armed uprising against Egyptian rule.[3][4] The district governor tried to quell the violent outbreak, but failed to do so and fled.[5] The event took place during a power vacuum, whilst Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt was fighting to quell the wider revolt in Jerusalem.[6]”

            And you know what? Modern Zionism wasn’t even born in 1834, Baladi dear.

            Reply to Comment
    6. Ben

      “Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh with 25,000”

      Come on, you incite against Odeh? Pure hatred directed at the most peace seeking persons. If you will incite against Odeh you have zero interest in sharing this land and seeking peace. If you will incite against Odeh it means you revel in domination and being an overlord.

      Reply to Comment
      • AJew

        Yes, Benny-leh

        Israeli Jews MUST be nice. Arabs can hate. Arabs can incite. Arabs can commit atrocities against Israeli Jews but Israeli Jews must always but always be nice, docile and compliant and take it on the chin. Whatever is dished out to us, we must accept because we have it coming to us because we dared to return to the land of our ancestors and claim parts of our lands back.

        But if we don’t. If we are not compliant, then we are the devil incarnate and the poor Palestinian Arabs are just victims.

        The above was sarcasm about how Benny seems to view things.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          ​No it’s how you view things–in your weirdly skewed world in which being minimally respectful of human rights, private property, justice and the Geneva Conventions is characterized as being “nice, docile, and compliant.” You’re absurd. But you’ve normalized that, consider it your right, and are surprised and resentful when people find it repulsive.

          Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            I would have no problems with being found repulsive. What I have lotsa problems with is with people like you Benny. People who are SELECTIVELY repulsed. Repulsed by us but not repulsed by Palestinian Arab atrocities against us. Atrocities which they have been committing against us for nearly 100 years even before “the occupation”! You never say you are repulsed by what they do. I find THAT repulsive!!!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Here’s the weird corollary to your weird theory, once more:

            ‘The Balance of Repulsiveness that I see must be recognized and justifies the brutal subjugation of an entire people in the service of a frank illegal land grab that no one not born yesterday mistakes for anything else. I mean I just admitted a few days ago that 86.4% of Ma’aleh Adumim is stolen land even by my own criteria but will I give it back? Of course not, because, you see, of the magical juridical time warp contained Hundred Years War told from The Fanatic Zionist Self-Excusing Perspective–it justifies anything anytime anywhere. Whatever is the case, there is absolutely nothing that is going to justify my giving up land. And remember, I came clean about this so I don’t feel hypocritical anymore:

            “Now we are here and the place is under our rule. So learn to live with it. Don’t wanna? Ok then, move. Or wear the consequences if you resist our rule.”

            “I have no problems with being found repulsive!”‘ Lol.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “I have no problems with being found repulsive!”‘ Lol.”

            Yes but the problem is that you also have no problems with lying and distorting facts in addition to being repulsive (and don’t complain about ad hominem to me again because you brought in the term “repulsive” in relation to me, so once again this is just an example about you getting back as good as you dish out ok Benny-leh?).

            Again, only in your bubble universe do people love their enemies after 100 years of war. Only in your warped mentality would a people, us in this case, not respond with disdain to the relentless hatred displayed towards us by our dear neighbors. Only in your warped sense of justice would you expect 100% of our population to refrain from making negative comments about those who have been telling us to get out of THEIR lands when those lands are no more theirs than ours. If anything less so, but I won’t debate that with you here again unless you insist on going it all over again. But I will say this: asserting over and over and over again allegations about land stealing does not make the allegation true. Unless you believe that repetition makes things true and that having lots of politicised friends who nod at your false allegations while they cynically laugh at you behind your back, stands for truth.

            Anyway, Benny-leh, your world is crumbling. Soon you will even lose many of your politicised friends who back you up in the UN. Then will come a long period of grieving on your part for your perceived losses on all fronts then you will learn to accept things as they are.

            After that, BOTH sides, not just us, will have to learn to treat each other with respect. Right now your expectations are extremely unrealistic of us and you are very forgiving of yourselves Benny-leh.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            My allegations about land stealing? You admitted it yourself! 86.4%! By your own criteria! The rest of this–“Your world is crumbling!”–has an eerie unhinged feel to it, a bug-eyed fanaticism, the winds of a resurgent fascism blowing through it. This is the desperate logical culmination of the occupation. This is where the settler Herr Sturmer fanatics* had to go, where they were always heading. It is, again, you dropping the mask, a world open and clean. No more pretending. Fresh air:

            “Now we are here and the place is under our rule. So learn to live with it. Don’t wanna? Ok then, move. Or wear the consequences if you resist our rule.”

            *THE HIGH COMMAND
            Settler influence on IDF conduct in the West Bank
            http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/inside/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/The-High-Command-Shovrim-Shtika-Report-January-2017.pdf

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “You admitted it yourself! 86.4%! By your own criteria!”

            In your dreams I admitted it. As usual, you have put two and two together and you came up with five Benny-leh.

            This is what I DID say: I said that settlements on crown lands are not illegal.

            I also said that although confiscating private lands IS illegal, at least Palestinian Arabs have been financially compensated when Israel carried out such confiscations. Which has never been the practice of Arabs who confiscated privately owned Jewish lands in the past. In fact, Jews who were robbed of their properties and assets by Arabs (yes Palestinian Arabs too), did not even always escape with their lives. But you, Benny just brush such things aside as irrelevancies.

            As for your 86.4% figure? I certainly did not admit to that. Based on your past record of lies and distortions, my reaction to your claim was and still is scepticism.

            Now let’s see what you are willing to admit to Benny-leh? Do you admit that peace negotiations have stalled because your pin-up boy, Abbas refuses even to sit down and negotiate peace terms with Israel without setting preconditions? And he was allowed to get away with this by Obama for the last 8 years. Are you proud of that, Benny? I am sure you ARE. But tell me this: how do you expect the occupation to end without your Palestinian Arabs signing a formal peace deal with Israel? Or is your expectation that Israel should surrender unconditionally and withdraw from the West Bank unilaterally? Based on your constant whining and finger pointing at Israel, it sure does sound to me that it is exactly what your expectation is!

            Expect all you like Benny-leh, but be prepared to be disappointed!

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            Benny came out with the following gem on another thread:

            “What one sees depends on one’s values”

            That sums up why he insists on putting the magnifying glass always on what Israel does or does not do while he constantly brushes aside all the wrongs which Arabs have committed and still commit to this very day.

            Benny’s own words explain his skewed one eyed attitude about this intractable conflict.

            Reply to Comment
          • AJew

            “This was well-covered on February 9 by Ben…”

            If Ben must say so himself. Talking about himself in third person is strange, to say the least. And on top of it, big noting himself. There really is something wrong with this guy (Ben). He should consider getting professional help of the shrink kind 👍🏿

            Reply to Comment
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