Social networking site Facebook said yesterday that it deleted a page calling for a third “intifada” (uprising) against the state of Israel, claiming the page’s users and administrators called for violence.
The page called on citizens of Arab states to demonstrate against Israeli oppression of Palestinians following Friday prayers on May 15.
May 15 is Israel’s official independence anniversary: a date Palestinians call the “Naqba,” or catastrophe.
Nearly half a million people signed up for the page before the company took it down. Several others have already sprung up to replace it, but none quite as large — yet.
The “intifada” page was pulled after Israeli Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein wrote a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, urging him to shut it down over its “wild incitement.”
“On this Facebook page there are posted many remarks and movie clips which call for the killing of Israelis and Jews and the ‘liberating’ of Jerusalem and of Palestine through acts of violence,” he wrote.
Facebook was highly instrumental in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Syria and Libya, where Arab democracy uprisings have rocked the world in recent months, following a series of highly inflammatory revelations from secrets outlet WikiLeaks, detailing secret U.S. foreign policy dealings.
The first Palestinian intifada began in December 1987 with rock throwing, protests and civil disobedience against the Israeli military blockade. It and lasted until the 1993 Oslo peace accords. A second and far more bloody intifada broke out in 2000, but eventually ran out of steam five years later.