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January 18, 2016

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Sunday proposed new legislation that would compel social media platforms to remove posts deemed to directly incite murder or violence.

According to Erdan, an Israeli law should be enacted in conjunction with legislation in other Western countries.

The issue has been raised in the past, with various visiting ministers expressing interest in cooperating with Israel on such an endeavor.

Erdan stressed that “my aim is to systematically expose the Palestinian culture of incitement among relevant audiences around the world.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that inciting messages should be sent out to world leaders to raise awareness of the problem.

Meanwhile, legal advocacy group Shurat Hadin is currently raising money on crowdfunding site Headstart in hopes of hanging billboards across the home of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg urging him to combat incitement.

“If he doesn’t see the incitement, we will display it opposite his California home,” Shurat Hadin said in a statement.

The phenomenon of incitement on Facebook has become one of the characteristics of the current wave of terror in Israel. Some Facebook pages explain how to kill Jews most effectively and include detailed instructions and encouragement for killers. Tips are provided, such as spraying a knife with insect spray prior to stabbing Jews, or detailing which part of the body to stab to incur the most damage.

The pages also include encouragement for murderers and promises of becoming cultural heroes.

In a statement, Shurat Hadin said that “we have been fighting against incitement on Facebook for a long time. We recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of 20,000 Israelis against Facebook based on the incitement occurring within its pages.”

Shurat Hadin Director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said: “The incitement on Facebook is becoming a weapon in the hands of terror, and we cannot accept this. Even after the murder of close to 30 Israelis since October, driven by wild incitement on social networks, Facebook continues to turn a blind eye.

“This is part of the struggle we are leading, which is also supported by the lawsuit against Facebook that we are currently administering.”