When Palestinian political speech Is “Incitement”

The raised hand of a demonstrator at a protest in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, on July 30th, 2021. (credit: Eddie Gerald / Alamy Stock Photo)
In Israel, incitement has become an increasingly common charge since 2016.

By Sophia Goodfriend | Jewish Currents | Sept 15, 2021

Israeli police have wielded the law against users who retweet or like posts that security forces define as incendiary…

ON JUNE 11th, Mohammad Kana’neh joined a few hundred protesters at a weekly demonstration against settlement expansion in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem that has become a flashpoint for protests against Palestinian displacement. Kana’neh, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and prominent leader of the secular Arab nationalist Abnaa el-Balad movement, stood under the hot sun and addressed the crowd in Hebrew, calling for an end to Israel’s occupation “from Silwan to Sheikh Jarrah, from Acco to Gaza.” He then turned to the line of border police that faced the crowd, shouting at them to “get out of the army.” Shortly after the protest dispersed, Kana’neh shared a video of his speech that another attendee had uploaded to Facebook; within hours, his post had been reshared by hundreds of users.

Three days later, Israeli police arrested Khana’neh. According to a spokesperson for Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, which is representing Kana’neh, the police accused him of provoking the soldiers. They argued that by sharing the video, he had committed a crime that has been attributed to hundreds of Palestinian activists and dissidents in the last several years: the incitement of violence.

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