'Israel-hating' Facebook Posts Leading to Firings, Disciplinary Actions

Several people who expressed joy at deaths of IDF soldiers or spoke harshly against the Gaza war have been fired due to efforts of online groups.

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A screenshot from one of the pages.
A screenshot from one of the pages.

Over the past two weeks, an increasing number of Facebook pages are reporting on people who express joy at the deaths of IDF soldiers or speak out harshly against the war effort, and calling for them to be dismissed from their jobs.

In some cases the efforts of these individuals have led to dismissals of people who came out against the IDF, or expressed happiness over harm to soldiers. For example, Hadassah College in Jerusalem withdrew a scholarship to an Arab woman student over a Facebook post. Hadassah College President Berthold Friedland wrote the student: “We read your post with shock and disgust.” Friedland also wrote that “until clarifications are completed and the police deal with it, the college management has decided to prohibit you from entering the campus for any reason, academic or other.”

Other educational institutions have issued warnings to their staff and students that they must avoid “extremist and inappropriate statements” on social media, and threatened disciplinary action or to go to the police.

Facebook pages of this type, such as “Boycott Haters of Israel,” “Fifth Column in Israel” have received between a few thousand to tens of thousands of “Likes.” In one case, the administrators of the Facebook page of the food chain Tiv Ta’am responded to a report on the Facebook page “Concentration of Destroyers of Israel” by saying that one of its employees, who had expressed happiness at the death of soldiers and Jews, had been fired.

Last week, the Lod municipality dismissed a psychological counsellor, Isra Gara of Jatt, after she expressed joy at the death of soldiers.

Shufer-Sol food chain reported on its own Facebook page that two employees had been summoned to a hearing before dismissal, due to reports the two had made what it deemed unacceptable comments, and warned that employees who did so would be fired.

The mobile phone company Cellcom also summoned an employee for clarifications following a number of reports about statements she had allegedly made.

Ben-Gurion University President Prof. Rivka Carmi wrote to students and staff that the university was “following the discourse on the Web,” and if need be would act according to the disciplinary code. Tel Aviv University also warned in a letter to faculty against “hurtful and extremist” statements by students or faculty. Thirty faculty members signed a letter of protest against the move.

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