Writing on The Wall (Incitement in Israel)

incitement incitement2 incitement3

In this film clip put together by Peace Now here on youtube, frozen and blood freezing screen shots fly across the black page in singles and in multiples. The words threaten acts of extreme violence and death against leftists. The people who post this violent hatred on FB do so under their own names, which appear bold and in blue, as often as not beside a profile photograph. These are people. They present themselves to the public. They are YP, MM, LV, AG, EM, BM, and many many others.



About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish though and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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14 Responses to Writing on The Wall (Incitement in Israel)

  1. Michael says:

    Amazing findings… Apparently, the (percieved) anoninimity of the internet leads people to reveal themselves from their worse side, showing some dark corners of the human nature. Oh wait, we know that for a couple of decades already!


    • zjb says:

      Hate speech is hate speech. I don’t think we saw this a decade ago in Israel, much less a couple of decades ago, not with this kind of abandon.

      • Michael says:

        We didn’t have Facebook then. So the comparison is not really in its place. I’m not trying to negate the fact that there is hate speech, just don’t see why it is so surprising.

      • zjb says:

        Sadly, I suppose you’re right, Michael. It’s not surprising, but very sad and worrisome.

      • Michael says:

        What – that some people are idiots? That there is evil in the world? I thought we were all quite used to it by now. Getting worked up about it is not going to do much good – celebrate life and never mind the bollocks is the best answer.

      • zjb says:

        Yes, yes, no, no. The problem is how social media can inflame real time events, so I take it a little more seriously.

      • Michael says:

        Yeah, like attempts on the lives of Jews around the world using motorized vehicles, inspired by hateful incitement fuelled by false claims of perceived religious offence.

        Don’t get all misanthropic because of a couple idiots ranting on Facebook. I encourage you to critically evaluate the scope of problems you ponder upon, and which ones deserve more and which ones less attention.

      • zjb says:

        We’ll have to agree to disagree about the contribution of the Temple Mount faithful types to creating the current incendiary situation –on top of the inability of the Prime Minister to get the country unstuck out of an unsustainable status quo. Regarding the surge of violence and hatred and racism in Israel today I can only point you to President Rivlin,

      • Michael says:

        Let’s see the evidence for the “surge”! And something more substantial than Facebook posts. Then we can evaluate the real scope of the problem. And compare it with the situation in other countries and other population groups.

        Like the situation among Dutch youth of Turkish origin, 80% of whom approve of ISIS violence against other faiths, and a majority of whom see all Jews responsible for the actions of the State of Israel http://www.forum.nl/Home/Publicatiedetail/NewsListId/17/NewsItemId/2777

        How does this compare to the situation in Israel?

      • zjb says:

        I’m not going to compare apples and oranges. About violence in Israel, it’s been and being documented in the news and addressed by the President of Israel in an ongoing way.

      • Michael says:

        Exactly! Nobody in Israel is pretending it is not an issue, and people from all corners of society and across the political scale condemn it! Unlike in many other societies… no need to look too far for examples. So personally I find your scorn and lament rather overreacting.

      • zjb says:

        I would like to see the government do more than ask the Temple Mount people to please stop the incitement. I’d like to see the Prime Minister not tell Israeli Arabs that they can move to the PA or to Gaza (only to then have to retract the statement later). I’d like to see the government react with more vigor against radical settlers and their rabbis in the WB. One can go on and on. But you don’t seem to think it matters.

      • Michael says:

        You mean the Israeli Arabs who wave Hamas and ISIS flags, and call for the destruction of Israel, only to go and get the unemployment benefits and healthcare from the Jewish state they hate so much?

        As to the action you want against Jewish radicals – we’ve discussed this before. Hundreds of suspects have been arrested, yeshiva’s have been closed, rabbi’s have been charged for incitement. But you don’t think it matters. Even worse, you claim no one has been arrested for “Price tag” activities, even though it is obviously not the case.

        I think that if you compare the actions of the Israeli government and public with statements and actions by other players (like the Turkish PM or Mahmud Abbas), you will see that the Israeli reaction is a showcase of moderate, respectful behaviour. And if you are still not convinced, think what would the US police do if a pro-ISIS demonstration would be held in NYC? Oh wait, we’ve seen what the US police is like in Ferguson, haven’t we?

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