Facebook reinstated Fatah’s terror-promoting page after only two days, without demanding the removal of violent posts inciting Palestinians to murder Jews.
On Monday, Facebook shut down the terror-promoting account belonging to Fatah, the ruling party of the Palestinian Authority (PA) headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Two days later, Facebook reinstated the page, without removing any of the posts inciting Palestinians to murder innocent Israeli civilians.
Examples of Fatah posts inciting Palestinians to commit terror include, for example, an image depicting a religious Jew screaming in pain with a knife stuck in his shoulder.
A posting from April 20, 2016, at the height of the “Knife Intifada,” includes a video produced by Fatah’s student movement at Birzeit University, encouraging stabbing and car-ramming attacks. It shows a staged attack at a checkpoint near Ramallah.
Fatah celebrated the murder of 116 Israelis when it bragged about its “10 most outstanding operations during the Intifada” in two separate posts on Dec. 16 and 17, 2016.
There are many more examples.
The PA had protested the closure of its account, which it described as “the targeting of…Palestinian national platforms” as evidence of “blind bias in favor of the Occupation.” It also claimed that the closure was “proof of an agreement” between Facebook’s administration and the “freedom-oppressing occupier” (i.e. Israel). Yet when the social media giant reopened the terror-inciting page, Fatah removed its accusations.
PA Opposes Two-State Solution
Abbas has been urging the UN to recognize the “State of Palestine,” claiming that only a two-state solution could resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet his party’s Facebook posts show that his government has no interest in a peaceful resolution.
For instance, the Fatah student movement election campaign poster shows a bloody knife shaped as a map of “Palestine,” covering not only Judea and Samaria, which the PA argues should become a Palestinian state, but the entire land of Israel. The caption reads: “Plant it [the knife] in the heart of your enemy.” The entire map is painted in the colors of the Palestinian flag, implying Palestinian political sovereignty over Israel.
Facebook’s Double Standard
It appears that the social media platform practices a double standard. Last year, for example, Facebook was forced to restore a posting it had removed from a pro-Israel page after a social-media experiment revealed that an identical pro-Palestinian posting was not deemed to be in violation of “community standards.”
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, founder of Shurat HaDin–Israel Law Center, has been fighting a billion-dollar lawsuit against Facebook for more than a year on charges that it provides a platform for incitement to terror. American-Israeli Richard Lakin, whose father was murdered in a Palestinian terror attack in Jerusalem in 2015, was one of the original plaintiffs in the Shurat HaDin lawsuit filed by a group of 20,000 Israelis against Facebook.
Lakin told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that he was “outraged” at Facebook “for pretending that it has zero tolerance for terrorism.” He “spoke minutes after a climactic hearing in a terrorism lawsuit against the social media giant,” the Post reported.”
Pro-Israel Advocates Banned
Diane Weber Bederman, a Canadian multi-faith chaplain and author, is among many pro-Israel advocates banned by Facebook for significantly long periods, without understanding why. Bederman has exposed Islamic incitement in her writings and posts, but has never promoted violence.
“I have no idea what leads them to ban me,” she told United with Israel. “The past three times I have had no warning. Suddenly a notice comes up that I am banned for a certain period of time from posting on FB pages, other than my own and that I cannot comment on other pages. Yet sometimes the comments go through and on other pages they don’t. The last three times I have been stopped for two weeks I was always posting my articles. Now I do write about Islam and the world!”
“There was a time I would get a warning that I was posting too fast and I had to prove I was a human. But these last few times, no warning at all. Just shut down,” she said. “I always lodge a complaint but I never hear back.”