Photo: Shaul Golan
Hagai Amir. Giving the limelight to an outcast with a curse of Cain on his forehead
Photo: Shaul Golan
Yoaz Hendel

Hagai Amir's arrest won't cure online incitement

Op-ed: The family of Prime Minister Rabin's assassin is the rotten fruit of Israeli society, but the real incitement can be found on President Rivlin's Facebook page, which contains hundreds of public comments and threats.

These days, it seems that every delusional social media post has to be demined. On the one hand, we are in the midst of a sensitive period of self-examination, 20 years after the murder which shook the Israeli society.



On the other hand, the short arrest - which will end in nothing - and the words written about the brother of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassin, Hagai Amir, are the biggest prize he could get: Giving the limelight to an outcast who has been walking around with a curse of Cain on his forehead.


The Amir family is the rotten fruit of the Israeli society and of the religious and ultra-Orthodox educational institutions its members studied in. One could also say that it is a family which demonstrates the right-wing anti-Zionist derivatives. But that is where it ends.


Yigal Amir endangered the State of Israel like no Arab terrorist ever did in the past 20 years. His brother, Hagai, took part in it. So did their surroundings, which encouraged him. Twenty years on, the family is not really endangering anything. It is not influencing anything.


Hagai Amir's Facebook post against President Rivlin. Irritating but unimportant
Hagai Amir's Facebook post against President Rivlin. Irritating but unimportant


All that is left of the Amir family is symbol, and a black memorial monument. In the eyes of most Israelis, from the right and from the left, it is a symbol of absolute evil. In the eyes of a handful of right-wing anti-Zionist Israelis, it is a symbol of defiance.


Dealing with Hagai Amir does not solve the more significant problems on social media. The post published by Amir on Tuesday is irritating but unimportant. Amir is angry at President Reuven Rivlin for announcing that he will not pardon his brother- the murderer, he calls him a sycophant and rules that the Zionist state and the president will disappear from the world when God decides.


One can pray that the first part does not happen and hope that Rivlin lives to the age of 120, but there is no legalist who can file an indictment over such a statement. There is no act to be derived from the words.


Amir's arrest was mainly aimed as an example to make people see and beware. It has a certain value, a reminder to the young ones who were unaware of the danger created by the Amir family. What this arrest does not contain is a cure for the abnormal virtual reality on the social networks.


If anyone is really looking for incitement against Rivlin, it can be found on the president's Facebook page. Talkbacks and tweets in Hebrew contain hundreds of public comments and threats which one does not have to interpret in order to file charges. The same applies to many Facebook pages of politicians in Hebrew - and on the other side too, on thousands of pages of young Arabs calling for action against Jews.


Arresting someone from the Amir family won't stop this online incitement. The timing does not increase the effectiveness. Whoever wishes to fight the phenomenon must act all year round. Recruit Hebrew-speaking and Arabic-speaking readers. Arrest and file charges. Open your computers - there is a lot of work to do.


פרסום ראשון: 10.28.15, 15:13
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