CST and the Board of Deputies of British Jews Call For Closure of Facebook Intifada Site
29 March 2011
The Board of Deputies of British Jews and CST (Community Security Trust) have received scores of enquiries and complaints regarding an Arabic language Facebook page calling for a Third Palestinian Intifada.
The Board and CST are keenly aware that Middle East conflicts can often indirectly lead to significantly higher levels of anti-Jewish race hate incidents here in the UK. Other Jewish communities throughout the world report the same phenomenon. The analysis is shared by Police forces and Governments; and has been widely reported in local, national and international media.
Facebook and other electronic networking media now play an increasingly important political role, which brings serious responsibilities. Facebook is currently enabling hundreds of thousands of people to urge a Third Intifada. The Board and CST appreciate the importance in protecting freedom of speech, but this must be balanced with the potential violent impacts and consequences of such speech.
If instituted, this Third Intifada will likely have severe consequences both in the Middle East and around the world, as previous Palestinian Intifadas have resulted in enduring conflict and loss of life to both Israelis and Palestinians. Globally, they have deepened hostility and intensified division and hatred. In particular, the Second Intifada led to a cycle of antisemitic violence and intimidation against Jewish communities that still remains unacceptably high; and, in the case of the UK, resulted in the Government instituting an ongoing Command Response to an Inquiry by Parliamentarians into contemporary antisemitism.
The Board and CST therefore call upon Facebook to shut this page down immediately.
Board of Deputies Chief Executive, Jon Benjamin stated:
If those behind the call for intifada really had the welfare of Palestinians at heart, they would be calling for a peaceful solution, not more violence. This is effectively a call to arms, and Facebook should have no part in this kind of incitement.
CST Director of Communications, Mark Gardner stated:
Facebook is literally providing a global network calling for a further round of conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. One very likely consequence is that this will also incite a further round of conflict against anybody deemed to be a supporter of Israel, with antisemitic hatred and violence the inevitable outcomes. That is why CST calls upon Facebook to shut this site down immediately.
Members of the public wishing to complain about the Facebook Intifada site are advised to go to the offending site and from there follow instructions to place a complaint http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/Palestinian.Intifada.
UPDATE: The above link is no longer working, although it is unclear whether or not this means that the 'Third Palestinian Intifada' group has been removed from Facebook.
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