Legal NGO threatens to sue Netanyahu over Palestinian incitement

Shurat Hadin has accused Israel of facilitating PA incitement to genocide against its own Jewish citizens.

May 8, 2016 23:29
2 minute read.
 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) attends a meeting of the Likud party

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) attends a meeting of the Likud party in the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Shurat Hadin – Israel Law Center on Sunday threatened to sue Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the government if he does not shut down incitement by the Palestinian Authority that it complains is being broadcast via Israeli airwaves.

Under the 1990s Oslo Accords, the government allocated broadcast frequencies to the PA for radio and television network broadcasts.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

“The problem of murderous incitement by Palestinian groups and individuals against Jews has become epidemic,” the NGO wrote in a letter to Netanyahu both as prime minister and in his capacity as communications minister.

“Much of this incitement has come directly from Palestinian leaders and is broadcast on official PA television and radio... Such incitement has played a major role in encouraging... Palestinian terrorist attacks against Jews and Israelis over the last seven months,” it continued.

Shurat Hadin noted that the 16-year-old Palestinian, whose name is under gag order, who murdered mother of six Dafna Meir at her home in Otniel on January 17, said that Palestinian television motivated him to carry out the attack.

The letter describes Netanyahu recently enlisting “French President Hollande’s assistance in having French broadcasts of the Al-Aksa channel [belonging to Hamas] taken off the air, that the IDF closed Islamic Jihad’s radio station in Ramallah due to incitement,” and that the government is taking other similar actions against incitement.

Quoting the prime minister in a statement he previously made to the cabinet, the NGO said that the issue is not about “freedom of the press, but about halting incitement to murder.”


It complained that the government has fought incitement inconsistently, permitting the PA to continue its use of its broadcast frequencies “in violation of the PA’s commitments to refrain from and to prosecute incitement and in violation of international law.”

Shurat Hadin said the material being broadcast by the PA constitutes incitement to genocide under the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute because it “directly and publicly incites others to commit genocide.”

In other words, it accused Israel of effectively facilitating PA incitement to genocide against its own Jewish citizens.

Citing recent precedent for prosecuting such incitement, Shurat Hadin pointed out that top television and radio officials in Rwanda were sentenced to decades of prison for war crimes for incitement to murder during the country’s mid-1990s civil war.

While there were convictions for incitement in Rwanda, incitement cases in the ICC and elsewhere are hard to win, as it must be shown to have been active, not just indirect. Many incitement cases in Rwanda were dismissed as concerning only distasteful hate speech.

The letter concludes that if the government does not shut down the PA frequencies, the NGO will file “legal action without further notice.”

There was no response by the Prime Minister’s Office by press time.

The option most likely open to Shurat Hadin would be a petition to the High Court of Justice, though it is hard to see the court taking the prime minister to task for failing to combat incitement against Jews.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

A relative of Palestinian gunman Naji al-Zaneen, who was killed in an Israeli air strike
October 17, 2018
ICC issues harsh warning to Israel of possible war crimes in Gaza