The social networking site, Facebook, has closed the page Third Intifada, following protests from the Israeli Government, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and a host of other groups. The ZOA and others protested to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, regarding Facebook maintaining a page calling for a third intifada a terrorist wave, intending to murder Israelis, both civilians and military personnel to commence on May 15, 2011, the 63rd anniversary of Israels independence.
The Facebook page in question, which had, as of late last week, over 230,000 friends and over 282, 000 people who had recorded liking it, was replete with photographs, video-clips and postings calling for violence and murder of Israelis and Jews and for liberating Jerusalem and Palestine through war, violence and acts of terror. The site was used by anti-Semitic groups that deny Israels right to exist as a Jewish state planning a wide-ranging campaign of violence and murder against Israel. Among other things, the site included calls for coordinated attacks by Palestinians and other Arabs upon Israel, including rocket attacks upon Israeli cities by the Lebanese, Iranian-backed Hizballah terrorist group.
New media expert Andre Oboler said of Facebooks decision to close the Third intifada page, Its about time Facebook needs to learn to distinguish between the right to attack conceptual ideas, and the wrong of attacking people be it because of their race, religion, nationality or political view. When they start to understand that, perhaps they will stop making so many mistakes (Alex Margolin, Breaking News: Facebook Shuts Down Third Intifada Group, Honest Reporting blog, March 29, 2011).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, We commend Facebooks decision, late in coming as it was. Two years ago, Facebook took down a racist page, Keep the Isle of Man white and free from foreigners, complete with a picture of a hooded Ku Klux Klan member, after a mere 40 posts had been added to it. In contrast to this commendably swift action, Facebook allowed the Third Intifada page to operate for months.
There is no doubt Facebook should have acted much more swiftly. Now, there is an opportunity for it to do so again, because new sites have already proliferated since todays closing of the Third Intifada page. It is vital Facebook close down these sites as well. If it fails to do so, not only will the racist and violent people behind the Third Intifada page have successfully continued to plan and recruit for their terrorist war on Facebook, but they will also have shown that Facebook lacks the will to enforce responsible standards on the content it permits. This will be a disaster that will encourage more extremists, racists and anti-Semites to organize violent campaigns on Facebook. We urge Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, to follow up his correct decision to close the Third Intifada page by closing these new, proliferating, similarly inspired sites.