“Castrate them!” “Burn them!” “Bullet in the head!”: Facebook Israelis react to photo of Palestinian kids

An image of three Palestinian boys sparked an outpouring of violent and sadistic fantasies after it was reposted to an Israeli Facebook page. (Original source and screenshot of context)

Shadi Hatem

Having regularly documented the horrifying racism and violent fantasies frequently expressed by Israelis on Facebook or Instagram, I thought I had seen everything.

But this may be the worst yet. On Wednesday, the picture above of three Palestinian boys in a tent was posted on a popular Facebook page titled in Hebrew “We are all in favor of death to terrorists.” Under the picture is the following caption:

Arab boys in the illegal Arab outpost established near Maale Adumim. What should the Israeli army do to them?

This is an apparent reference to the peaceful “Bab al-Shams” encampment established by Palestinians near Jerusalem to protest Israel’s plans to seize more land for settlements. The protest was timed to coincide with the visit of US President Barack Obama.

“Run the tent over with a truck/Merkava tank/a bus/ whatever it takes to crush and kill these children,” suggested Facebook user Lidor Swisa.

As of Friday there were almost 200 comments under the post offering suggestions of what the Israeli army should do – the vast majority fantasizing extreme sadistic violence and murder.

What makes this even more than usually disturbing is many of the Israeli commentators appear to be high school students themselves – perhaps only a year or two from mandatory army service when they will be empowered to carry out their fantasies.

Soldiers and adults join in the virtual pogrom

Kfir Brigade sergeant Ohad Halevy believes Palestinian children peacefully protesting should be “slaughtered.” (Source)

But others, such as Shlomo Levi, are clearly already army-age adults. His suggestion?

Shlomo Levi thinks Palestinian children should be gassed to death. (Source)

“I’d have thrown nerve gas into the tent and closed it and made them breath it until the end”

Kfir Infantry Brigade member David Kozolovski justifies violence against Palestinian children. (Source)

David Kozolovski wrote, “To all those comparing Jews to Nazis, Jews did not try to kill German civilians,” thereby justifying the orgy of violent fantasies against the children.

Kozolovski’s profile pictures on Facebook include images of him in his Israeli army uniform bearing the insignia of the Kfir Infantry Brigade.

Ohad Halevy, another soldier in the Kfir Brigade, simply wrote “Slaughter them!” of the three children in the photo.

“May you die garbage Arabs, amen!”

This is only a small selection of the representative and typical comments posted under the picture of the three boys in the tent. All of these comments were in Hebrew and have been translated:

I have posted a screenshot of all the comments as of the publication of this post from which the ones above were selected.

A minority of users objected to these pervasive comments. Lilach Lilush said, “Excuse me … I disagree… what do you mean ‘eliminate?’ What are we, an arm of Hamas or Hizballah? We are more enlightened. We should just return them safely where they came from.”

Even in her objection Lilush could not but stereotype Arabs as monsters compared to “enlightened” Israelis. But still, hers was a very rare sentiment amid the frenzy of bloodlust that sees the three Palestinian boys in the picture as legitimate targets for extreme violence.

Widespread incitement and racism

Again, I stress as in my previous posts, that this horrifying racism and sadism towards Arabs seems to be pervasive among Israelis who use social media and reflects the much broader phenomenon of escalating racism in Israel against Palestinians and Africans.

Haaretz noted, for instance, in a recent article that racist incitement by Israeli public figures doubled in 2012. It also reported on how the kind of crude and shocking racism seen in these comments is common among Israeli schoolchildren in Jerusalem.

Nurit Peled-Elhanan has also documented in her recent book the pervasive anti-Arab racism and stereotypes that Israeli children are exposed to at school which may contribute to this horrifying phenomenon.

It is also notable that the “We are all in favor of death to terrorists” Facebook group has more than 41,000 “Likes” and images of Palestinians, Arabs and Israelis deemed traitorous “leftists” are frequently posted attracting similarly vile comments.

In his speech in Jerusalem this week, President Obama also observed that “Israelis are so active on social media that every day seemed to bring a different Facebook campaign about where I should give this speech.”

The violence is not just virtual

In at least one case we know of, an Israeli soldier, Maxim Vinogradov, announced on Facebook his intention to assist in the “annihilation” of Arabs just days before he shot father of two Ziad Jilani in the head as he lay on the ground in Jerusalem in 2010.

An example of the Israeli army’s routine brutality against children was on display on the very day Obama landed when dozens of children as young as eight were abused and kidnapped by Israeli soldiers as they were on their way to school in Hebron — a harrowing scene caught on video.

Next: See how Israeli soldiers reacted to the video in: “Israeli corporal Ari Ben Reuven says: “break every bone” of crying Palestinian boy while seized on way to school




I have to believe that this is the minority of Israelis and by far not the majority.
There will always be a small number of very hateful humans in any group, race or religion.

There certainly are in Christian groups in the U.S.A. as well I've seen in other religious or racial persuasions.

It still makes me extraordinarily sad that anyone would do or think or say such as this , and almost makes you give up hope on mankind. Perhaps that is why I refuse to believe it's anything other then the very small minority.


Whether it’s the majority or a minority, there is no denying that these kinds of views are pervasive and common, not rare or cherry-picked. There’s quite enough other resources and references linked that show that. While it’s true that you can find racism in every society, I would argue that this kind of crude racism is not as commonly expressed openly in the US and we have strong social taboos against it. In Israel those taboos don’t seem to exist as much and much of the racist incitement comes from political leaders. It’s not surprising in a state that defines citizenship rights based on ethnoracial identity as Israel does.


I believe the Nazi party started out as a minority too.
These are truly disgusting people and they need to be punished for their hate crimes! The reason this goes on is because they get away with it. And as we have seen it doesn't stop with typing-this type of scum go on to join the army (they are permitted guns anyway outside of the army) and carry out the crimes they previously type about.
In a society that is deliberately maintained as Unequal, where one group is Stupid enough to actually believe they are Better than the other, these types of filth will continue to appear.
America is propping up an unsustainable regime and the only solution is its collapse-just like Apartheid South Africa!


Let's hope it collapses like apartheid did. Although also said it's been 20 years and the hate is still very much alive in what I'm hoping is the minority. I am part of the new white generation in South Africa, so I was very young when the apartheid took place and don't remember much about it, but our current government still use it very often to discredit their "white" opposition parties, even though most of these consist of many black people. What I'm trying to say it, the hate never really goes away, there will always be a extremist group for as long as a government has a use for it


Technically, yes, the Nazi party and all other organized movements started out as a minority because at one time all of those organizations were simply an idea in one person's head.


I agree with you. Matter of fact, there are many pro-Palestinian activist Jews in Palestine. They don't show this on the media because Zionists don't want to show the world that even there OWN PEOPLE are condemning them...


And these people are not commenting anonymously but with their names and photos which means that they're not expressing marginalized opinions nor do they risk anything.


Unfortunately, this is how the majority, not the minority, of Israelis think, and in the case of Zionists, this is how hundred percent of them think. Investigate all the evidence from the last 60 years and you'll find this to be the case.


Let's pray I'm right about this one, it's the minority not the majority who would do or think such a thing so hateful. :(


I find "Praying that you're right" to be a disturbing response to this report and to Ali Abunimah's reply. Refusing to look at this will not make it go away. That just leads to silence, and silence allows and encourages the bigotry to continue and grow. There is considerable information available about the rise in racist and violent attitudes in Israeli society and particularly among the youth. If we are to pray about this, let us pray for the courage to learn what is really happening. And then "pray with our legs" as Rabbi Heschel said he was did, marching in Selma during the American civil rights movement. And pray with our pens, our pocketbooks, our voices - out loud - and with all of ourselves until things change. That is the kind of prayer that could make your wish come true.


If you are right, then I guess the minority rules israel. the majority have to do a lot to improve relationship between the israelis and palestinians. This hatred will take the world no where. it is better to jaw-jaw and not war-war


Obama went to Mideast at taxpayer expense and did NOTHING and said NOTHING constructive, or at least nothing with any teeth. It's all such an abomination and has been for so long it's sickening. Obama, in a word, has been cowardly.


They also did this very cleverly. the caption under the picture says "Arab children in an illegal Arab outpost erected defiantly today near Ma'ale Adumim. What should the army do with them?" That way they merely open the door for the commenters to spew the hate that was obviously intended in the first place, so Facebook might not ban them. Also interesting that they say "near Ma'ale Adumim" rather than in E-1, which might shine a little more light on the action. Calling these people sickos, racists, or any epithet I can imagine doesn't do justice to this horror. Thanks to you, Ali, for publicizing it so many people could respond on the page.


Jaffa; a clockwork orange

by michael hall

I have a key to a home that has no door nor walls
but i can still smell jaffa oranges sweet in the breeze down the hill
over there stands a park where a village once stood
so my grandmother told me one day, almost everyday

Have you ever been to the sea
i've never been there but my grandfather has
it was warm and salty he says with moist eyes
but for me the wet of the sea is not allowed

Not too long ago we walked this land from water to water
over the hills and down into the farms tending rows and rows of orchards
some of the olive trees were thousands of years old
before armored bulldozers came broke and razed them into piles of kindling

Al Quds is a dream for all of us to see
without roadblocks checkpoints and permits
without smug smartass soldiers barking and pushing
that day seems so far away

What is ours we cannot build upon
for illegal immigrants with an army tear it down
yet they build what they want where they want
with all the water filling their pools as our crops wither and die

I walked with children in the southern Hebron hills
on public dirt roads not bothering no one
but then it rides roaring down from inside a fortress colony
guns waving, curses launched from inside of beeping revving cars

In the courts to be tried by foreigners in your land is surreal
in a military court judged by bigotry what chance do you have
someone somewhere somehow saw you throw a rock at a tank
you must pay for scratching the paint

Inside the stinking squalid cell in between your beatings
the words of your grandparents echo in your heart
you can almost smell the oranges on the limbs of Jaffa
you can almost taste the salt of the sea....you endure as a freedom rider


Cracks expanding like silky threads of a spider’s web
reaching spreading bonding more & more to wrinkle linking spokes everywhere
cracks on the face of the apartheid wall deepening connecting bonding -dazzling

Each fissure a breath of freedom every fracture a warm touch of hope healing despair
a frozen lake of apathy, indifference & silent conformity relentlessly split by insatiable struggle
ruptures popping & cascading from ripples of unfaltering struggle for social justice

Lines of free will forming creating a canvas from abuses & usurpations for all to see
listen to them crackle and pop as they sing their hope for emancipation & autonomy
i heard them sing of a power within the prison of Bethlehem that could never be muffled nor muted

Each burst of light illuminating insidious ethnic cleansing, occupation & military subjugation
the 30 foot tall great grey prison walls are crumbling from the weight of their own oppression
for on the other side i see free people strongly stepping out of the darkness lit in integrity

Splinters like Courage to Refuse & B’tselem reaching into every dark corner
Bab al-Shams,& True Torah Jews Against Zionism spreading their truth
The Black Hands, Gaza Youth,EI, & CPT together with the same message; Let my people go

So that one day i see the radiance even illuminating the Knesset
for one day egalitarianism will fill this the darkest hole of the abyss
from water to water no fence, no check point no more ethnic cleansing no more apartheid

When all the cracks unite to splinter the wall of hate as it then falls crumbles into dust filling the grave
on a warm summer day when all the soot settles from this great inevitable collapse
as all the people; jew, muslin, christian & secular diverse yet united as it is meant to be


Thanks Ali on posting this;

1. Kindly can you please, whenever you saw such group, to post the link here, with a note for the Electronic Intifada follower to report it

2. These are not minorities, figures are talking about it self. We Palestinian in Jerusalem are facing this raciest everyday in our life .... This phoniness is in increase .... So this is not minority


The Israeli courts considered Maxim Vinogradov's Facebook comments "not relevant!" Can you imagine a court anywhere in the world considering it not relevant if a policeman "joked" on FB about exterminating Jews and then 2 days later killed a Jew? BTW, Ziad Jilani had 3 daughters, not 2.


Here we are! Israeli institutions cultivate hate. Hate is coming from the top of society. Israeli rulers have open the door for the floot of racism (since long) and the young people find it "cool" to be so powerful with their guns in front of helpless Palestinians! This is the expression of a racist society. The rulers only care for their election goals and have no social responsibility. The rulers not only are obscene in their style of ruling but also deeply corrupt. These are the incredients to rotten a whole society. Israelis have to fight against propaganda which puts reality upside down. Illegal outposts can only be israeli settlers and never Palestinians, etc...When I speak about the segregation laws of the Knesset, the israeli call me a liar. Shooting in the head of a young israeli with all this propaganda he has to work hard to get out of that nightmare. But what a liberation for him when he succeeds!


The people who are aggressive will suffer every moment of their lives. Their anger will eat them. They are torturing themselves.


Trust me when I say there are similar comments on both sides. There are Arabs, not just Palestinians, wishing worse than that for Israelis and Jews. Make no mistake.

If you are disgusted by what people day as an emotional response, anger of the moment, on an emotionally detached online medium such as Facebook, you don't understand human beings.

Even within families, arguments sometimes escalate to such levels, but after everybody calms down, peace is made, and everybody apologizes. Anyone old enough with a family knows I'm right about this.

So grow up, and stop adding fuel to the fire by exposing the dark side of humanity. Try instead to expose the positive things that are happening. There are many, if you only try to find them.


Stop adding fuel to the fire? How can you say such a thing? Should we all bury our heads in the sand and act like these people and their horrifying beliefs and very vocal display of those beliefs simply do not exist?

Your response to this behavior is disgraceful. By ignoring them, and asking us to do the same, you're tacitly endorsing their behavior.... Behavior which is just about as disgusting and disgraceful as anything any other Human Beings have ever said or done. These people would exterminate and entire group of people simply because they exist. The Palestinians legitimately believe that Israel is occupying their homeland, and Israel persecutes them on a daily basis by treating them as if they are less than human. This is called Apartheid, and ignoring it will simply empower its perpetrators to continue committing human rights violations and war crimes without fear of reprisal. Ignoring it is the WORST thing we could possibly do, and would shift some of the blame from the perpetrators to us because we have a responsibility to fight for the rights of ALL people, no matter their race, color, or creed.

The fact that Jews and Israelis, whose ancestors suffered these same crimes committed against them, are in favor of this behavior is perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the whole situation in Palestine. They believe that their god approves of these acts, yet the same crimes were committed against them in what was possibly the worst genocide in the history of the human race. I'm sure than any Zionist who reads my comments will immediately resort to calling me an Anti-Semite, which I unequivocally am NOT. I have nothing against Jews or Israelis, but I cannot in good conscience ignore the crimes Israel is committing against the Palestinians, which my government is funding with my tax dollars.

You should be ashamed of yourself - ignoring this behavior is as bad as committing the crimes yourself.


Yes, stop adding fuel to fire, you troll. You seem to not be very intelligent. Why am I saying this? I shall explain simply, so that your violent, militant mind might comprehend it (although I doubt it, but hey, you could surprise me!):

I do not condone violence, of any form, against anyone. Be it a Muslim, a Jew, a Non-Believer, an Alien from planet Omicron Persi-I8, Cats, Cows, Dogs, Snakes, Spiders, Unicorns, etc. (I hope you get the idea by now).

And YES, Stop adding fuel to the fire. And by trying to insult me and telling me that I should be ashamed of myself, you are only revealing your true agenda: You want death and violence to continue, and I guess you want Jews/Israelis to die.

How else do you explain trying to shut up a man who is calling for peace?

Peace starts when all sides forgive each other unconditionally. When any of the sides insist on retribution, insist on avoiding peace, insist on continuing to fight and kill the "enemy", peace is delayed.

You are obviously either not mature enough to understand this concept that I am talking about, or you are one of those militant extremists who believe in a twisted form of Islam (peace) and you want to convert everybody to Islam or condemn them to death as infidels.

Personally? I do not believe in countries. I believe in people, and I believe in peace. I believe borders should not exist. I believe people should live in freedom, get a good education, and have equal chance at life.


"you troll"
"You seem to not be very intelligent"
"so that your violent, militant mind might comprehend it"
"You want death and violence to continue, and I guess you want Jews/Israelis to die"
"trying to shut up a man who is calling for peace?"
"You are obviously either not mature enough to understand"
"you are one of those militant extremists who believe in a twisted form of Islam"
"you want to convert everybody to Islam or condemn them to death as infidels"

If you want to preach peace, then try practising it.
Spewing out personal insults and hatred says more about you than the people you're trying to bully.


it usually is out of anger over something done to Palestinians or Lebanese.
With these Israelis- it's out of their "distaste" for having to live in Palestinian land in close proximity to Palestinians.

These comments are pre-meditated, and Israeli jews have done zilch as to improve the situation by any degree.


How can three Palestinian kids in a tent on their own land be linked with 'anger of the moment' ?
Haha, the peace-and-love-hasbara is out on this article....


It has been shown that the more often media use racist language, the more people become racist. If the subject were to be ignored by all media outlets, if a lack of reporting took place, it is probable that the racism and violence of these posts would be reduced. Really, all this hatred is just a lack of education coupled with media indoctrination. It's scary and shameful, but reporting on it simply encourages more racism.


no, I don't think this is a minority way of thinking about any Palestinians.
it just shows the Israelis in their true light. there is so much stupid hate, and stupid and juvenile it is. people with any decent intelligence do not think this way. however I do know there are a few Israelis who have some intelligence and don't think that way, and want to live in peace in a proper democratic country.


some idiot whining about how the Palestinians are "happy when Israeli soldiers die".
As if they should cry about their oppressors, who all too often have the same mentality as that of these sociopathic freaks shown in this article and in others at EI related to social networking incidents.

Maybe if the Palestinians were on equal footing in terms of military capacity and had equal rights and weren't being shot/beaten up/arrested without charge/humiliated/robbed on a daily basis, then I would be concerned about Palestinians saying "nasty" things.
Also, I have never met any Palestinian or Lebanese who calls arbitrarily for children to be "run over" or "gassed".


Truthy Alert: Criticism of Israel's apartheid crimes is ^NOT Anti-Semitism.

Why is Canada’s right-wing Bush-lite Prime Minister Stephen Harper *SO* fanatical about supporting Israel bombing innocent Palestinian civilians? What’s the secret agenda at work here?

‎Surprise! It’s money: Canada does ONE BILLION DOLLARS of trade with Israel annually. Most of it military. It’s always about the money eh?

At the 5:30 mark.


The racist bile posted on Facebook sickens me - and I thank you for translating it from Hebrew and bringing it to my attention so that I can share it on my networks. Unfortunately, I don't have anyone providing a similar service for Arabic posters/sites although I know they exist.

There are insidious, moronic haters on both sides. And the hatred will never end.


This is taken from a FB group that many extremists join, nothing surprising. There are groups like this on every side.
Far far most of Israelis don't share this extreme point of view.


I don't see any Israeli jews doing anything to stop the occupation or achieve equal rights for Palestinians.
They just voted in the most demented government in the Knesset.

Actions speak louder then words, and I have seen no evidence that Israeli jews really care about the situation apart from when Palestinians retaliate and the Israelis start to complain about it.


I could write a book. Suffice, however, to state the obvious: These fascists are providing further proof that the Zionist enterprise in Palestine is doomed, i.e., the rot within.


israel was created by zionists who specifically rejected any morality other than the creation of and preservation of Israel. the movie Munich by spielberg was about the absence of moral foundations for israel and he's hardly an anti-semite. no state can survive injustice. it will fall. wash away in the tide of history. suddenly. without warning.


It's the majority of Israeli society that thinks like this- not just the Zionist occupation forces' worst soldiers. They all believ in teh same Zionism & hate crimes/violence against Palestinians Arabs & muslims altogether.