Asher Schechter, haaretz.com
Image from article, with caption: A stone thrower protests the separation fence at Bil’in.
Accusing social media of inciting Palestinian terrorism is the Israeli right’s latest tactic for ignoring the true motivations for the violence and masking its failure to stop the attacks.
Mark Zuckerberg must be headed to jail. How else should we interpret the statement made by Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who after last week’s deadly terrorist attacks in the West Bank claimed that “some of the victims’ blood is on Zuckerberg’s hands”?
“Facebook has turned into a monster,” Erdan told Israel Channel 2 television. “The younger generation in the Palestinian Authority runs its entire discourse of incitement and lies and finally goes out to commit murderous acts on Facebook’s platform.”
Erdan’s outburst made international headlines. After all, here was the minister who oversees Israel’s law enforcement agencies (and, ironically, is also in charge of Israel’s public diplomacy activities), putting the onus on the world’s largest social media platform and its founder for the one thing Israel has been incapable of doing for the past decades: preventing terrorist attacks.
Erdan’s statement was no spur-of-the-moment gaffe. It was part of a concerted effort to shift the blame away from the government and onto, well, the internet. Shortly after Erdan, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked laid into Facebook, arguing in a radio interview that “it doesn’t understand the severity of Palestinian terrorism.” Shaked is promoting a piece of legislation, dubbed the “Facebook bill,” that would allow the state to require social media platforms to remove content it deems inciting or damaging to national security. ...