17 | 09 | 2019

Facebook announced on Thursday, September 12, that it was suspending a chatbot operated by far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official page for violating hate speech policies, after a message spread by his campaign warned that Arabs citizens of Israel “want to annihilate us all.” The head of the Joint List, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), who had complained to Facebook about the bot, welcomed the move.

“After careful review of the Likud campaign’s bot activities, we found a violation of our hate speech policy. We also found that the bot was misusing the platform in the time allowed to contact people. As a result, we suspended the bot for 24 hours. Should there be any additional violations, we will continue to take appropriate action,” a company spokesperson said.

A message appearing on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Facebook page on Wednesday, September 11, called on voters to prevent the formation of a “secular, weak, dangerous, leftist government, supported by Arabs who want to destroy us all – women, children and men – and that will make possible a nuclear Iran that will annihilate us.” The message, which was reported in the daily, Communist newspaper, Al-Ittihad sought to rally votes for the Likud in next Tuesday’s, September 17, general election.

Joint List leader, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) condemned the message, saying, “We have contacted [the management of] Facebook demanding they act immediately to put an end to this racist and dangerous incitement by Netanyahu against the Arab population.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday night, September 10, he will extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea in the occupied Palestinian West Bank if reelected.

Speaking to the press a week before the election, Netanyahu also said that the Trump administration’s peace plan, which he said would be released days after the election, will provide an “historic opportunity” for annexing the West Bank and other areas.

Moscow has taken note of the Arab countries’ highly negative reaction to the statement made by Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu regarding his intention to extend Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley.

We share concerns over these Israeli plans, the implementation of which can lead to a dramatic escalation of tensions in the region and undermine hopes for a long awaited peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

The World Federation of Trade Unions, gathering in its ranks 100 million workers in 132 countries around the globe, strongly condemns the announcement of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has promised to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank if he wins the general election next Tuesday September 17th.

The Jordan Valley is a region of strategic importance while it represents 30% of the occupied West Bank and such statements show the escalation of Israeli authoritarianism against the Palestinian People in view of the elections.

The racist bill promoted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party to place cameras in polling stations was defeated in committee yesterday, Monday, September 9. The controversial bill failed to gain a majority in the Knesset Regulatory committee, leaving the Likud-proposed legislation without an immediate path to become law before the September 17 election. The committee voted down a motion to shorten the usual legislative process so that the bill would not have to wait the standard 45 days before being brought before the Knesset plenum for debate and three votes.

Joint List Chairman, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), attacked far-right Prime Minister Netanyahu and Kahol-Lavan (Blue & White) Chairman Benny Gantz on Friday, September 6, for their racist attitude towards the Joint List, the political representation of the vast majority of Arab citizens of Israel.

Odeh commented on the remark he floated during an interview with Yidioth Ahronoth, published on August 23, about the possibility of the Joint List joining a coalition headed by Blue & White: “I see that Netanyahu doesn’t want Arabs in the Knesset; Gantz doesn’t want Arabs in the coalition.” Odeh addressed the opposition expressed by Gantz to the idea, saying that, like Netanyahu, Gantz is “looking for an Arab who doesn’t have a national identity; a pro-Zionist Arab – as a fig leaf.”

The head of the Central Election Committee, Justice Hanan Melcer, said in a radio interview he gave on Thursday, September 5, that he strongly opposes the far-right Likud party’s bill to allow cameras in and around polling stations during the upcoming elections. On Wednesday, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud that their bill to legislate the deployment of cameras in polls around the country is legally problematic and cited Melcer’s earlier opinions on the matter, saying it would cause chaos and prevent some people from turning up at the polls.

Far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Sunday, September 1, to extend “Jewish sovereignty” to all settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) — a move tantamount to annexation — seeking to shore up right-wing support some two weeks ahead of the September 17 Knesset elections. Speaking to elementary school students in the West Bank settlement of Elkana on the first day of the school year, Netanyahu was echoing a pledge he made days before the previous national vote in April. The premier said that no more settlements would be evacuated, as happened in 2005 when the entire Israeli civilian presence in the Gaza Strip was removed.

A poll released by Kan News on Sunday evening, September 1, found that if the Knesset elections were held then, the third largest parliamentary block in Israel’s Knesset would be the Joint List with 11 seats. Ahead of it would be the far-right Likud with 32 seats in the 22nd Knesset, making it the party with the most representatives, and Kahol-Lavan (Blue & White) which would trail the Likud by a single seat with 31 MKs.

Hadash MK Ofer Cassif placed responsibility for the escalation of violence between Israel and Hezbollah on Sunday, September 1, at the doorstep of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling him “the serial criminal from Balfour Street.”

Cassif said “Netanyahu and his servants are responsible” for the recent clash, adding they mean to “occupy the seat of power with blood and to ensure the criminal [Netanyahu] will escape prison.”

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