I confess I am a Facebook fiend. I enter the Facebook world to network with family and friends and share thoughts, ideas, items of interest and even at times, nonsense, just for a laugh. Imagine my surprise to learn that Facebook is the communications tool chosen to promote a Third Palestinian Intifada which encourages the killing of Jews and the ‘liberation’ of Jerusalem by violent means. ‘The Third Palestinian Intifada” calls for a third Palestinian uprising to begin May 15.
When I last checked, this Facebook page had already attracted 340,000 ‘likes,’ but there are some who find the whole project offensive and irresponsible. “ “This Facebook page constitutes an appalling abuse of technology to promote terrorist violence,” said Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) national director.
“Although the managers of this group claim to be calling for peaceful demonstrations, the Third Intifada pages include calls for followers to build on the previous two intifadas. We should not be so naive to believe that a campaign for a ‘Third Intifada’ does not portend renewed violence, especially in the current climate that has seen a dramatic increase in rocket attacks from Gaza, the brutal murder of the Fogel family in the West Bank, and a terrorist bombing in Jerusalem.” Foxman told JTA.
Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s minister of diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder. “As Facebook’s CEO and founder, you are obviously aware of the site’s great potential to rally the masses around good causes, and we are all thankful for that,” Edelstein wrote. “However, such potential comes hand in hand with the ability to cause great harm, such as in the case of the wild incitement displayed on the above-mentioned page.”
Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and You Tube have effectively spread news and inspiration for uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Libya. Through the networks people were inspired to join public demonstrations even under serious threat. They were notified of dates and times for rallies. As far as I know these messages did not encourage killing and violence.
But The Third Palestinian Intifada has a different bent. The authors may not read the Bible but we do. “A worthless man digs up evil, While his words are like scorching fire.” (Proverbs 16:27)
Violence between Israel and the Islamic militant group Hamas has escalated in recent weeks. An avalanche of rockets has peppered Israel and caused the launch of Iron Dome, Israel’s new rocket interception defence system.
The Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned of strong responses if the attacks continue.
Spokespersons for Facebook have defended their decision to allow the page to be published.‘While some kinds of comments and content may be upsetting for someone – criticism of a certain culture, country, religion, lifestyle, and political ideology for ecample – that alone is not a reason to remove the discussion,” spokeswoman Debbie Frost said in a statement. If May 15 sees the launch of the Facebook Intifada, what then?
There’s a promise in the Bible that so many ignore at their peril.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Prov. 18:21)