By Jordan Zaitchik
B’nai Brith Canada
A top Israeli Minister is accusing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of having “some of the blood on his hands” of murdered teenager Hallel Yaffa Ariel.
Gilad Erdan (Likud) Israeli Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs, and Information harshly criticized Facebook for allowing Palestinian incitement and hate speech to appear on the site. Erdan explained that Facebook impedes police efforts to catch terrorists and sets “too high of a bar” for removing inciting material.
On June 30, 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel was murdered in her sleep by Palestinian teenager Muhammad Nasser-Tarayrah. Tarayrah had declared his desire to die a martyr for the Palestinian cause in several Facebook posts in recent months, as reported by Times of Israel.
While speaking to Chanel 2 TV, Erdan called on Israelis to demand Zuckerberg to clamp down on the abuse of Facebook by terrorists.
“Facebook, which has brought a positive revolution to the world, since the rise of Islamic State and the wave of terror, has become a monster,” exclaimed Erdan. “The dialogue, the incitement, the lies of the young Palestinian generation are happening on the Facebook platform.”
Erdan went on to accuse Facebook of “sabotaging the work of Israeli police” and “refusing to cooperate” when Israeli Police turns to the site for assistance regarding terror threats posed by Palestinians.
On July 2, Facebook issued a statement attempting to refute Erdan’s accusations:
“We work regularly with safety organizations and policymakers around the world, including Israel, to ensure that people know how to make safe use of Facebook. There is no room for content that promotes violence, direct threats, terrorist or hate speeches on our platform.”
Last month, Facebook agreed to a strict code of conduct set out by the European Union alongside Twitter, YouTube, and Microsoft.