Incitement and Racism against the Palestinians during the Pandemic
I’lam Media Center released a comprehensive quantitative report for 2020, as part of its monitoring project. It monitored the incitement and racist discourse in the Israeli media against Palestinian society. This research includes monitoring of the written, visual, and audio press. It also investigated the webpages of Israeli politicians and media on social media sites (Facebook and Twitter).
The year 2020 was marked by a lot of political and security turmoil. The outbreak of the Corona pandemic and its sequential incitements against Palestinian society were on top of these turmoils. in Israeli society, 1050 cases of incitements by politicians, media professionals and other parties against Palestinians were monitored within all types of medium. It can be noted that the rate of incitements against the Palestinians is in an ascending trend compared to the previous year, as 778 cases of incitement were monitored in 2019.
The results of the quantitative analysis revealed that the highest incitement rate was 31% on the Facebook pages of members of parliament, Israeli ministers, and journalists. And the data was followed by 21% at Israel Hayom Newspaper, 10% at each of Maariv Newspaper and Twitter. The newspapers, Makor Rishon and Yediot Aharonot, each reached 7%. Lastly, 4% on Channel 12.
The groups that are targeted change depending on the political changes that occur. As we mentioned above, the year 2020 went through many political changes; most notably, the Israeli parliamentary elections, the subsequent incitement and racism against Palestinian society, and the management of the Corona pandemic carried out by Israeli institutions. Moreover, this period was marked by the formation of a unity government and the escalation in implementing some provisions of the American Century Deal, which relate to imposing Israeli sovereignty over 30% of the West Bank, and for conclusion, the normalization agreements with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, and Morocco.
The results show that the Palestinian Authority is the most targeted party for incitements by 28%, followed by a slight difference with the Joint List and the rhetoric of imposing sovereignty over Area C by 23%, Palestinian society as a single segment by 22%, Palestinians as individuals by 11%, The Palestinian authorities account for 9%, Hamas by 6%, and lastly, the Palestinian prisoners account for 5%.
This research also analyzed the different types of incitement expressed in the various articles and news reports. Some of them legalize the collective punishment and the use of force against the Palestinians. Others demonize the Palestinians in general, articles delegitimize Palestinians and their authorities using racist discourse, as well as emphasizing Jewish superiority and their role as a victim.
The results show that the method of incitement and racism most frequently used in the Israeli media is the delegitimization of the Palestinians (78%), followed by the use of racist discourse (62%), and racism (51%). The method of demonization and generalization of Palestinians and victimization of Jews was used (31%). Finally, the legalization of collective punishment and the use of force against the Palestinians was used (8%).
It is important to mention that one article may contain more than one type of incitement.