Israeli PM blames social media for Palestinian violence


Palestinian protesters gesture as an Israeli army vehicle sprays dirty water to disperse them during clashes
Palestinian protesters gesture as an Israeli army vehicle sprays dirty water to disperse them during clashes
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the social media for the current wave of Palestinian violence singling out Facebook, Israeli media reported on Monday.

Netanyahu told his Likud faction on Monday that Israeli security officials were aware of the significant impact of incitement garnered from social media, because of what terrorists who attacked Jews over the past few weeks have written on their private Facebook pages.

“What has been going on is due to the combination of the Internet and Islamic extremism,” Netanyahu said. “It has been Osama Bin Laden meets [Facebook founder] Mark Zuckerberg.”

Netanyahu said Israel was in “a lengthy struggle” and urged citizens to respect the law and not take it into their own hands, as happened Sunday night when Israelis attacked an Eritrean who was thought to have been a suicide bomber.

Jerusalem barrier

Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett criticized Netanyahu for enabling the construction of security barriers between the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Armon Hanatziv and Jabel Mukaber. At a meeting of his faction, he slammed the international community for not showing Israel enough support as it fights terror.

“Part of the world is morally confused and unsure who is the aggressor,” Bennett said, purposely speaking in English. “I call upon our friends around the world to support us. Those around the world who gives us grades and advice: Wake up. We might be on the front lines now, but this war is also in your country. Don’t find yourselves on the wrong side of history.”

Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman told his faction that building barriers in Jerusalem was not the way to restore security. Netanyahu also faced surprising criticism for the Jerusalem barrier from leading voices in his own Likud party.

“It’s not the right thing to do from a security standpoint,” Immigration and Absorption Minister Ze’ev Elkin told Army Radio. “We had a discussion about this in the cabinet, and it was clear that this wasn’t the solution. This is something temporary and isolated. We need to deal with terrorism and not build fences that can easily be bypassed.”