The Secretary General of the PLO, Dr. Saeb Erekat, condemned the current Israeli government for its failure to entrench a culture of peace and co-existence within Israeli society. Erekat declared “Not only does the Israeli government fail to foster and promote a culture of peace, official Israeli discourse entrenches hatred, racism, and discriminatory attitudes against Palestinians. The discourse is only further entrenched by the institutional protection that is given to those who commit or incite violence against Palestinians.”
Erekat’s issued his comments after Israel’s Channel 10 televised a report that was both shocking and insightful, speaking volumes to the culture of hate that permeates Israeli society. The report was based on an experiment organized by Channel 10, whereby a Palestinian with and an Israeli –Jew posted on Facebook declaring their intention of committing a violent attack against Israelis and Palestinians. The results of the two posts were staggering. The Palestinian, Shadi Khalieleh, received only 7 likes on his post. He received numerous calls warning him that his Facebook account has been hacked and other calls urging him to not commit any type of attack. On the contrary, the Israeli (Daniel Levy) received more than 1200 likes on his post, 10’s of shares, and various comments declaring their support, respect and even willingness to assist in committing the crime. While, the Israeli police took matters seriously in the case of Shadi Khalileh and broke into house with the intention of arresting him, Khalieleh was however not in the house, the Israeli police then issued a call for him to show-up for interrogation. He was only released once channel 10 was able to prove that this was an experiment and did not constitute an actual threat. On the hand, in the case of Daniel Levy, no police action was taken and he was never called for interrogation or detained for the threatening comments he made on facebook declaring his intention of attacking Palestinians.
Erekat added; “This is yet another example and evidence that incitement not only pervades Israeli society, but that institutional biases motivate police and security actions”. He added “that such experiment only goes to show that Israel official discourse has allowed for the normalization of hateful discourse. Such forms of hate are reinforced through the absence of concrete measures legally, socially and politically that could possibly deter and contain incitement within Israel.”
Erekat declared; “Palestinians are extremely worried of the current climate in Israel, we are not ignorant and we have seen the impact of such incitement in the form of settler terror and trigger happy soldiers executing injured Palestinians in the streets of the occupied state of Palestine.” Erekat continued, “the international community should intervene and provide international protection to a people under occupation.”