‘Monster’ Facebook: Israeli minister slams social network for ‘sabotaging’ police work

© Valentin Flauraud
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister of public security, has berated Facebook for “sabotaging the work of Israeli police” and urged the nation to confront its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, “in every possible place.”

The minister, who comes from the right-wing Likud party, chaired by PM Benjamin Netanyahu, claimed the social networking site refuses to cooperate with Israeli authorities in the West Bank. This referred to the Judea and Samaria Area, which Israel officially considers to be its own administrative region. The territory is generally regarded to be Palestinian land under Israeli occupation by the international community.

"Facebook today sabotages, it should be known, sabotages the work of the Israeli police, because when the Israeli police approach them, and it is regarding a resident of Judea and Samaria, Facebook does not cooperate," Erdan lamented in an interview to the Israeli Channel 2. 

In addition to that, the high-ranking politician blamed he company for refusing to delete “inciteful content and posts” by making it extremely difficult to meet the standards qualifying the hateful speech to be removed.

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While Erdan admitted that Facebook was not evil in the first place, as it managed to bring “an amazing, positive revolution to the world,” he said the company has “simply become a monster” in the recent years which marked the rise in terror activity all over the world and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terror group onslaught.

Facebook’s reluctance to assist Israel in its struggles against Palestinian insurgents can be blamed directly on the company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg, Erdan said, while going as far as saying that "some of the victims' blood is on Zuckerberg's hands," according to Haaretz. 

The minister was referring to the recent murder of a 13-year old teenage girl, Hallel Yaffa Ariel, who was stabbed to death by a 17-year old Mohammed Nasser Tra'ayra, a resident of the Palestinian village of Bani Naim. The girl, who was later confirmed by US State Department to be a US citizen, was assaulted in her bedroom in the Kiryat Arba settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The attacker was shot at the scene.

It later emerged, that the assailant, who was an active Facebook user, posted a series of alarming messages on his page, expressing his admiration for martyrdom after his relative and friend Yousef Walid Tarayrah was killed by the Israeli forces in March.

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“Yousef is not the first martyr nor the last…God willing I will walk in the martyr’s footsteps”, he wrote in a post from March 17, according to The Times of Israel.

Apart from grieving over his friend, he also reportedly praised Palestinian attacks on Israelis, posting pictures of stone-throwing Palestinians and hailing a woman who allegedly deliberately wreaked car into the Israeli vehicle. 

Erdan said Facebook "could have reported to the police or defense officials about the post put up by that despicable murderer," Haaretz reported.

In order to pressure Zuckerberg into changing the Facebook policy guidelines, Israelis should “flood him in every possible place with the demand to monitor the platform he established and from which he earns billions,” Erdan said.

Since October, 34 Israelis and two US tourists fell victims to the new violent spiral of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. IDF forces, in their turn, killed 201 Palestinians with 137 of them considered to be perpetrators, according to the data, provided by Reuters.