Youths supporting Palestine. Andrew Partain/Flickr

Internet or Intifada?

According to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the ongoing wave of attacks on Jews by young Palestinians can be blamed entirely on incitement by Palestinian Authority and Islamist websites. It's an asinine claim, and it is ironic that Netanyahu, of all people, is accusing anyone of incitement.

TEL AVIV – According to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the ongoing wave of knife attacks on Jews by young Palestinian “lone wolves” can be blamed entirely on incitement by Palestinian Authority and Islamist websites. Netanyahu evidently expects Israelis, and the world, to believe that if these sites were posting cat videos, the Palestinians would cease their agitation and submit quietly to occupation.

Palestinians are indeed being provoked, but by Israeli actions – beginning with the perpetual encroachment on their rights that occupation entails. Beyond facing daily humiliation at checkpoints, Palestinians have seen Israeli settlers destroy their crops and olive groves, and even torch a West Bank home, burning three family members and killing a toddler. Add the Israeli military’s frequent late-night house raids in search of “terror suspects” and the relentless expansion of Israeli settlements, and it becomes pretty clear that Palestinians don’t need to scour the Internet for reasons to be angry.

It is ironic that Netanyahu, of all people, is accusing anyone of incitement. Was it not incitement when, just days before Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in 1995 for his efforts to achieve peace with the Palestinians, Netanyahu addressed a rally where posters depicted Rabin in a Nazi SS uniform? Was it not incitement when he attempted to mobilize Jewish voters earlier this year by warning of “Arabs voting in droves, bussed in by the left.”

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