A cartoon of an Arab wielding a bloody meat cleaver above the prone body of a religious Jew. How-to videos demonstrating best practices for stabbing Israelis, complete with a final twist of the knife. A video of a Gaza preacher exhorting West Bank Muslims to slaughter Jews. The latest outbreak of Arab attacks on Israelis is being shaped by social media and its power over young Palestinians.
With more than 20 people killed and over 235 wounded on the Israeli side in the past two months, Israel’s Foreign Ministry is drafting Arabic speakers and computer programmers to join the fight against posts the government says is driving the bloodshed.
“It’s clear to all of us that the youths who go out to stab and kill Jews were influenced by incitement videos that clearly call for the murder and maiming of Jews,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said on Army Radio.
Social media “has had a huge impact on Palestinians in the past two years, especially the youth,” said Mamoun Matar, a Palestinian lecturer on social media at Birzeit University in the West Bank.