2019 Index of Racism and Incitement in Israeli Social Media

Israeli elections were the primary reason for increasing incitement against Arabs

Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, 27th Feb 2020

– One violent post against Arabs and Palestinians every 64 seconds
– 495,000 violent posts against Arabs and Palestinians in 2019
– The Joint List and its leaders were the primary subjects of violent discourse in 2019

7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, published the results of its annual Index of Racism and Incitement in Israeli Social Media in 2019. The research revealed that the peak of incitement against Palestinians and Arabs in 2019 was correlated with the two rounds of Israeli election. It also shows that there was a 14% rise in violent discourse towards Arabs and Palestinians, with one violent post every 64 seconds, and at least one out of every 11 posts about Arabs using inciting language. 

In 2019, there was also a rise in the number and percentage of inciting posts in 2019. Nearly 495,000 out of 5.4 million posts about Arabs were violent posts, including racist and inciting slurs and biased language against the Arab and Palestinian community. These statistics indicate a 5% rise in inciting posts in comparison to 2018 statistics which showed that 464,000 out of 4.7 million posts about Arabs included violent statements. 

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Palestinians stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation

The TransCanada Coastal Gaslink pipeline aims to steal Wet’suwet’en land, use resource extraction to solidify control over Indigenous territories, destroy the environment and violate Indigenous laws.

Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), February 13, 2020

From the occupied Palestinian territory, we stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en nation and land defenders at the Unist’ot’en Camp and Gidimt’en who continue to resist Canada’s colonial incursions of their unceded territories.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society that leads the global BDS movement, sends a message of support to your struggle.

We call on the Palestine solidarity movement in Turtle Island and elsewhere to stand with the Wet’suwet’en nation.

As Palestinians, we have firsthand experience with a colonial power, Israel’s regime of occupation, colonization and apartheid, that systemically works to dispossess, divide and strip us of our lands and resources.

We know too well, from our own experience, that the TransCanada Coastal Gaslink pipeline aims to steal Wet’suwet’en land, use resource extraction to solidify control over Indigenous territories, destroy the environment and violate Indigenous laws. We also know that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) attacks, sanctioned by the Trudeau government, against the Hereditary Wet’suwet’en leadership, matriarchs and land defenders, are used to violate Indigenous sovereignty. The RCMP is employing tactics and equipment similar to Israel’s government, including Caterpillar bulldozers, to seize indigenous lands.

We are deeply grateful for the Wet’suwet’en people for their indomitable spirit, and their tireless defence of the land and water resources. We stand firmly with you in your struggle for your land and ancestral rights.

Palestinians owe the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island a great debt for teaching us how to resist settler colonialism generation after generation through your powerful resistance, grace and indomitable spirit.

The BNC is committed to building stronger ties of solidarity between our peoples and movements, and we will work with our partners in Turtle Island to make this a reality.

From Palestine to Wet’suwet’en, we stand united with you in the struggle against settler colonialism, racism, corporate criminality and your inalienable rights for justice and self-determination.

We would be honoured to welcome you in Palestine, when the time is right.

Strangers in Our Homeland


MK Aida Touma-Sliman, January 15th, 2019. Photo: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk via Flickr

Aida Touma-Sliman, JewishCurrents, February 6, 2020

LAST WEEK, Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu announced a deal that is intended to determine the future of the Palestinian people, without a single Palestinian present in the room or involved in the consultation process. They unveiled the plan in the midst of Trump’s impeachment trial and on the same day that Netanyahu was indicted for corruption. Like a group of men deliberating women’s reproductive freedoms, the Americans and Israelis who drafted the plan intend to unilaterally decide the fate of Palestinians, our land, and our fundamental rights. The plan’s total erasure of Palestinian voices and blatant denial of these rights lays bare the real intentions of the Trump and Netanyahu administrations.

Just as importantly, the past week clarifies the positions of so-called moderates—from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Israel’s Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White Party—who have either barely protested or outright endorsed the plan. While it is no secret that the US and Israel have always rendered Palestinian narratives, demands, and aspirations secondary, centrist acquiescence to Trump’s plan suggests that the “deal of the century” is the logical culmination of a long-held vision of an apartheid Palestinian pseudo-state, bereft of meaningful sovereignty or self-determination. 

Trump and Netanyahu have inherited this vision and added their typical vulgarity. Their plan would enshrine Jewish supremacy in all of Israel and historic Palestine, annexing Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank, the Jordan Valley, and East Jerusalem, while leaving Palestinians in the occupied territories with a patchwork of isolated ghettos surrounded by walls and military checkpoints. Israeli law would be applied in all settlements, which violate international law and numerous UN resolutions. Israel would retain sovereign control over the air and sea, as well as absolute “security” control in the entire territory west of the Jordan River. Jerusalem, including occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem and its holy sites, will remain entirely in Israeli hands. And Palestinian refugees will be categorically denied their right to return to the land from which they were expelled by Israel because they were not Jewish. 

The plan would also have dire consequences for Palestinian citizens of Israel, many of whom would probably be stripped of their citizenship and transferred to the new Palestinian “state” under the plan’s proposed land swaps. To those ends, Israel’s Tourism Minister, Yariv Levin, has already raised the specter of de-nationalizating Israel’s Palestinian citizens, who make up about 20% of the population, or about 1.8 million people. Many people in this category would likely lose the ability to travel within most of historic Palestine and be subject to the same restrictions, including on movement, imposed on citizens of the new Palestinian “state.” 

As a Palestinian citizen of Israel myself, I have been treated with suspicion and as a threat by the government for my whole life, a fifth column in my own homeland. Will I now be told to move to the new Palestine, or remain and accept permanent second- or third-class Israeli citizenship? We already face dozens of laws that discriminate against us—including the so-called “Jewish nation-state” law, which has effectively made segregation official national policy—because we are not Jewish. With Trump’s plan, Israel’s claim to being a liberal democracy that values human rights has been discredited once and for all.

Trump and Netanyahu’s plan, then, is outrageously unapologetic in its denial of Palestinian rights and its whitewashing of Israeli colonization. In key respects, however, it does not represent a radical break with the many previous plans proposed over the past several decades—by both Democrats and Republicans, by Israel’s Labor and Likud—to “grant” Palestinians nominally autonomous, discontiguous parcels of land surrounded by Israeli settlements and under the control of the Israeli military, and to pass off these bantustans as an independent state. As far back as 1978, Prime Minister Menachem Begin proposed granting Palestinians a limited “autonomy” or home rule in scraps of the occupied Palestinian territories in an attempt to quash Palestinian demands for independence. The 1993 Oslo Accords offered Palestinians limited self-rule in parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, while allowing unfettered Israeli settlement expansion—with the number of Israeli settlers more than tripling since the signing of the peace agreement. 

Gantz, supposedly a moderate alternative to Netanyahu, has embraced Trump and Netanyahu’s racist annexation plan, and vowed to bring it for approval in the Knesset. The Joint List—the coalition of Arab-majority parties, of which I am a member—will not support any candidate or party that supports annexation, including Gantz. Indeed, with rare exceptions, most Jewish Israeli politicians subscribe, implicitly or explicitly, to Trump and Netanyahu’s agenda of segregation, intolerance, and xenophobia, as evidenced by the nation-state law and others passed in recent years, like the so-called Nakba law, which is intended to suppress public discussion and debate of the mass expulsion of Palestinians that accompanied Israel’s establishment as a Jewish state in 1948.

In the US, meanwhile, even some Democrats critical of Trump and Netanyahu have been muted in their criticism of this scheme. Reacting to a summary of the plan last week, Pelosi declared that it “appears to be a basis for negotiations . . . so let us be optimistic and hopeful.” Echoing Pelosi, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel of New York declared: “There’s some good room for hope there.”

With the notable exception of Bernie Sanders, Democratic presidential hopefuls have thus far refrained from proposing concrete ideas to end US complicity in Israel’s apartheid regime, with some even proudly reiterating their support for Israel. Because our shared values of freedom, equality, and democracy are on the line more clearly than ever before, Democrats can no longer get away with claiming progressive credentials in some arenas while remaining willfully blind to injustice elsewhere. Trump and Netanyahu recognize their own shared values and are working hand in hand; Democratic leaders likewise need to understand that Palestinians are their natural allies in resisting the onslaught of Trumpism in the US and around the globe.

The time has finally come for Israeli leaders to pay a price for their half-century-old occupation of Palestinian lands, for seven decades of ethnic cleansing, for blockading the Gaza Strip for over a decade, and for their relentless incitement against and attempts to exclude us—Israel’s Palestinian citizens—from equal citizenship in our own homeland.

Aida Touma-Sliman is a member of the Israeli Knesset representing Hadash/The Joint List.

Trump’s “Deal of the Century” Has Led to Violence Not Peace

February 08, 2020

(WASHINGTON, D.C. 2/8/20)—Since President Donald Trump released the details of his much-derided so-called “deal of the century,” a total of five Palestinians, including a teenager, have been killed by Israeli forces while protesting a “peace plan” that has delivered nothing but promises of further dispossession and apartheid. Rather than achieving peace, this plan has only emboldened the Israeli government to continue its policies of land theft and aggression against Palestinians. As AMP warned prior to the release of this “steal of the century,” this atrociously one-sided plan was always a recipe for more bloodshed and a prolonging of suffering. AMP condemns this plan and the inevitable violence it has provoked with Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing supporters, including settlers parading through the Jordan Valley, taunting Palestinians with the impending annexation of their lands. 
 
Within the 1948 borders, Trump and Netanyahu’s Apartheid plan has proposed that an Arab-populated region there be added to a future Palestinian state. Not only is this suggestion tantamount to the illegal forced transfer of people but, like in Apartheid South Africa, it will result in the denaturalization of Israel’s minority population. Netanyahu has already vowed that there will never be a Palestinian state as long as he is prime minister—nothing more than swiss cheese-like Bantustans in which Israel and the Trump administration wish to segregate Palestinians. This racist plan, which deprives Palestinians of every basic right, sets impossible conditions on Palestinians who must prove themselves worthy of existing before any rights may be bestowed on them. 
 
Of course, Palestinians would never accept such a humiliating proposal and have been protesting this initiative since its announcement last week. Israel has expectedly responded with violence, shelling and shooting Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, respectively, and killing young protesters with impunity. The first victim, 17-year-old Mohammad Al-Haddad from Hebron, was shot and killed by Israeli forces while protesting Trump’s plan. In the following days, as Israeli forces began a military incursion in Jenin, a protester who demonstrated against the demolition of a Palestinian home was killed. 

Unsurprisingly, Jared Kushner blamed Palestinians for this escalation in violence in an effort to absolve himself of responsibility for his failed policies. As the region continues to descend into further chaos and instability, the world has begun to recognize that not only is the blood of innocent Palestinians on the hands of Israeli leaders, but also on the hands of the Trump administration which has waged a war on the Palestinian people over the last three years. 

Rep. Mark Pocan on Trump’s Peace Plan

Progressives must take a stand against the Trump administration’s endorsement of Israeli apartheid and, instead, support the Palestinian demands for freedom, self-determination, and the right of refugees to return to their homeland.

Endorse “Freedom Is the Future,” a joint project of US Campaign for Palestinian Rights and Adalah Justice Project.


BDS Victory: Liverpool FC reject Puma sponsorship

Palestine Solidarity Campaign, 1/13/20

Thank you to the hundreds of supporters who wrote to Liverpool FC about our #BoycottPuma campaign!

Amidst growing international pressure for sports teams to boycott Puma over their complicity with Israeli war crimes, we’re delighted that Liverpool FC have rejected Puma’s kit sponsorship offer. Please join the campaign and help get other clubs to #BoycottPuma.

Join the #BoycottPuma campaign

Take action and demand UK football clubs ditch Puma. Use our template letter to send a message to football clubs calling on them to end sponsorship deals with Puma. Just follow this link.

Boycott Puma

Puma is the main sponsor of the Israel Football Association (IFA), which includes football clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements on stolen Palestinian land. All Israeli settlements are considered war crimes under international law.

As one of the world’s top athletic apparel makers, Puma’s sponsorship brings international legitimacy to the IFA and helps maintain its direct involvement with violations of human rights and international law off the field.

More than 200 Palestinian teams have called on Puma to end its support for Israel’s military occupation by terminating its sponsorship deal with the IFA.

BOYCOTT Puma until they end their sponsorship of Israeli Apartheid.

Israeli settlements are illegal land grabs that form an integral part of Israel’s occupation infrastructure – pushing indigenous Palestinian families off their land, robbing natural resources, and denying Palestinians their right of movement.

Israel uses sport and the IFA to sportwash its crimes against the Palestinians – Dont let Puma help them!

To Prison, Again, for Protesting Against Israel’s Colonial Rule

Israeli activist Jonathan Pollack pens a powerful Op-Ed in Haaretz on his arrest, putting into context his act of solidarity with Palestinians who face altogether different circumstances than his own.

The Ofer military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah, October 2, 2009.
The Ofer military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah, October 2, 2009. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Jonathan Pollak, Haaretz, Jan 07, 2020

I am currently detained in an Israeli jail, the result of refusing to attend or cooperate with criminal charges laid against me and two others for joining Palestinian protests in the West Bank against Israel’s colonial rule. Because I am an Israeli citizen, the proceedings in the case are held in an Israeli court in Jerusalem and not at the military court, where Palestinians are tried.

>> Police arrest left-wing activist Jonathan Pollak in Haaretz building

It has been almost nine years since the last time I was incarcerated for more than a day or two. Much has changed since. Politically, reality does not even resemble that of a decade ago, and none of the changes were for the better.

Politically, the world seems to have lost much of its interest in the Palestinian struggle for liberation, placing Israel at one of the historical peaks of its political strength. I am in no position to discuss the profound changes within Israeli society and how even farther to the right it has drifted. Israeli liberals are much better suited for such a task, because they hold their country dear and feel a sense of belonging that I cannot feel and do not want to feel.


Jonathan Pollak at Hermon Prison in 2011. (Yaron Kaminsky)

Personally, I am older, more tired and, mostly, not as healthy as I was. Of course, the price I have paid for my part in the struggle is a fraction of that paid by Palestinian comrades, but I cannot deny its subjective weight on me: from physical injuries, some irreversible, through sporadic despair, anxiety and sense of helplessness, to the encumbering sensation of loss and the presence of death – and the grip all these have on my day-to-day life. And yet, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Right now, just as it was back then, sitting in prison is better than any other alternative available to me.

The legal fallacies that riddle the case against us are of little significance. While it is fair to assume that had I agreed to cooperate, the trial would have ended up with an acquittal, my refusal to recognize the court’s legitimacy is based on two main grounds.

The first is that my Palestinian comrades do not enjoy the luxury of being tried in the relatively comfortable conditions of the Israeli courts. Rather, they are tried as subjects in the parody of a legal system that are Israel’s military courts. Unlike me, Palestinians do not have the option of refusing to cooperate with their captors, since the vast majority of them are tried while remanded into custody for the duration of their proceedings.

Additionally, the punishment Palestinians are faced with is significantly harsher than that specified in Israeli law. Thus, in this regard as well, despite refusing to recognize the court’s legitimacy, the price I am likely to pay is significantly lower than that paid by my comrades.

The second, more fundamental ground to refuse to cooperate is that all Israeli courts, military or otherwise, lack any legitimacy to preside over matters of resisting Israeli colonial rule, which employs a hybrid regime, ranging between a distorted and racially discriminatory democracy in its sovereign territory and a flat-out military dictatorship in the occupied territories.

Faced with the tremendous shift to the right in Israeli politics, the shrinking remnants of the Zionist left – once the country’s dominant elite group – are consumed by lamenting the decline of Israeli democracy. But what democracy is it they wish to defend? The one that has dispossessed its Palestinian citizens of their lands and their rights? The one that, at best, views these Palestinian citizens as second-class? Perhaps it is the democracy that governs the Gaza Strip through vicious siege while it reigns as a military dictatorship in the West Bank?

Despite the obvious nature of the Israeli regime, Israeli liberals are not willing to contest the fundamental premise of internal Israeli discourse and acknowledge that the State of Israel simply is not a democracy. Never was.

To join the fight to topple Israeli apartheid, the few Jewish citizens of Israel willing to do so will first have to recognize that they are overprivileged and be willing to pay the price of relinquishing that status. An open rebellion against the regime has been taking place for decades, carried out by the Palestinian resistance movement. The price paid by those involved in it is immense. Jewish citizens of Israel must cross over and walk in their footsteps.

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