The Palestinian national movement has launched a Hebrew-language Facebook page whose purpose is to make the Palestinians’ case to Israeli Jews.
The Palestine Liberation Organization’s “Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society” published its first post on the social network last week.
The outreach body, founded in December 2012, explains its vision in one of its earliest posts: “Reaching a just and sustainable solution to the Middle East conflict depends on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel on the basis of the 4 June 1967 lines and a just and agreed-upon solution to the refugee problem on the basis of UN resolution 194.”
Titled “Palestine in Hebrew,” the page’s messages are geared toward Israelis and their concerns, telling them, “The occupation is the enemy, oppressing our lives and corrupting yours.”
It employs hashtags, a kind of tagging that sorts posts by searchable subjects, that urge Israelis to act politically, such as “#be_responsible_end_the_occupation.”
And it includes high-production-value videos that counter Israeli perceptions of international moves taken by the Palestinian Authority in recent years, such as explaining in Hebrew that “the appeal to the UN” for recognition of a state of Palestine “was never meant to isolate Israel or hurt its legitimacy, but to emphasize the illegitimacy of the occupation that began in 1967 in order to end it.”
It also carries a speech by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
But it has already drawn Israeli Jewish responses and counter-arguments to the claims made in its posts, and its establishment was reported in mainstream Israeli media Sunday, including Israel Radio’s morning news broadcast.
One Israeli posted to the page a 1910 newspaper clipping of an Arab attack on a Jew in Jaffa, with the sarcastic comment, “Because of the occupation,” suggesting that Arab violence against Jews preceded the 1967 conquest of the West Bank and Gaza.
In one post, the PLO page complained of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s proposal to require political advocacy groups to wear tags in the Knesset similar to those worn by lobbyists, saying, “We will be identified by the tags Shaked is requiring us to wear.”
That first-person reference led one commenter on the page to say, “It appears that this page is actually run by Israeli left-wingers in the PLO’s name.”
There was no immediate word on the identity of the page’s administrators, though the Hebrew is fluent and largely error-free, including when translating linguistically difficult passages from the poems of the Palestinian national poet, Mohammed Darwish.