Report: Rise in hate speech against police commissioner related to PM probes

Over 50,000 threats have been directed at Roni Alsheich in the last several months.

February 19, 2018 17:10
1 minute read.
Police Chief Roni Al-Sheikh

Police Chief Roni Alsheich at the Israel Bar Association Conference at the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: NAAMA COHEN FRIEDMAN/ BAR ASSOCIATION SPOKESWOMAN)

Hate speech and violent incitement against Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Roni Alsheich have grown exponentially since corruption probes were opened against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu several months ago, a new report shows.

According to the report, compiled by the Berl Katznelson Foundation in cooperation with the research firm Vigo, Alsheich has received 50,000 online posts containing incitement and general hate speech since he took office in December 2015.

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The report found that 45% of the violence directed at Alsheich was recorded in the last four and a half months, with 2,500 violent responses recorded against him in the last week.

A total of 63% of the threats came from right-wing constituents, while 37% came from the left, the report found.

Among the 50,000 threats, 70% were directed from Facebook, 10% from Twitter, 15% from talkbacks and 5% from other forums.

“The rise in hate discourse against the police commissioner is a clear expression of the prevailing spirit of Jerusalem, which [identified] the police commissioner as trying to topple the prime minister out of non-professional motives,” said the foundation’s director, Anat Rosilio.

“The erosion of the legitimacy of the work of the police and its head not only harms the standing of the police commissioner and senior interrogators, but undermines the institution of the police establishment as a body authorized to enforce the law in Israel, and causes serious damage to the public’s trust in the rule of law,” she added.

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