Posts on Facebook can now lead to charges in Israel

Israeli prison "OferPrison" by Magister

Israeli prison
“OferPrison” by Magister

Tel Aviv, Israel (AIC) Omar Shalabi, leader of the Fatah political party in East Jerusalem, was sentenced to nine months in prison Tuesday after being convicted of incitement and support of a terrorist organisation through his Facebook postings. This is the first time that a person has been sentenced to jail for social media posts under Israeli law.

Shalabi, age 44 and the father of six children, was arrested in December and charged over ten postings on his Facebook page, which at the time had some 5,000 friends.

Judge Eitan Kornhauser ruled that Shalabi published “harsh and serious incitement, including praise for despicable murders, and words of encouragement for committing similar acts all within a period of several months.” He further determined that the nature of the writings and the inclusion of photos immediately following attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians “testify to the seriousness of the incitement.”

Kornhauser emphasised the “sensitive security situation” in which the postings were made, and accepted Israel’s contentions concerning the extensive dissemination possibilities via social media “There exists the necessity of determining clear and sharp borders of punishment which will provide a warning light for those using a keyboard,” Kornhauser noted.

Shalabi’s lawyer, Tareq Bargouthi, contended that he should not be given prison time as this is a new topic “for which exists the obligation to warn Facebook users before it is determined that they are not within the framework of freedom of expression”.

Speaking to the Israeli news portal Ynet, Barghouti notes that this is a case of selective enforcement by Israeli law officials. “There are numerous Jewish people who upload posts that include real incitement and calls for violence and terror and they are not put on trial and are not even called for interrogation,” he stated. “The punishment is exaggerated as this is the first time a person is put in jail for Facebook postings, such that a policy of gradual punishment should have been adopted.”

6 comments for “Posts on Facebook can now lead to charges in Israel

  1. Lawrence
    May 13, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Meanwhile jews are allowed to cheer, advocate and high-five for the mass-murder of jewless people. Even right up to ministers and the most prominent rabbis. No problem. Jewish exclusivity. I would like for anyone to demonstrate a single difference between racial supremacy and jewism.

  2. Annabelle
    May 13, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Actually Lawrence, you need to stop being such an anti semitic tool. First, wtf is ‘jewism’? Second, Judaism has nothing to do with this supremacist bs, what’s responsible for it is 100% Zionism, which is not religious but a political ideology/identity. Not all Jews subscribe to Zionism, many actually oppose it. Just like Zionists are not only Jews but any other faith, including atheists. There is a significant number of fervent Zionists who are Christians, mostly from the US and Canada but not exclusively.

    You could point the finger at Zionism or Israeli nationalism/colonism but you completely discredit yourself with such nonsense as you’ve written. Do us all a favor & get a clue!

  3. May 17, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    When are the Israelis going to stop using this anti-Semitic crap. Jews are not Semites – they are Kahzars from eastern Germany and Russia. 500 million Arabs are Semites. Another bit of history – The Palestinian’s ancestry , the Cannaniites , presence in Palestine pre-dates the Israeli’s Hebrew by 1900 years.

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