Does Israel "hate?" According to some Palestinian activists and their social media enthusiasts, the Jewish state is one of the most violent and horrendous nations in the world -- one that some of these individuals claim doesn't have the right to exist.
Last night, to the surprise and horror of many, #IsraelHates became a word-wide Twitter trend. Now, you don't have to be a Twitter aficionado to understand the implications of this hate-fueled development.
The "hashtag" (a hashtag is a keyword or topic that is used on Twitter; when hashtags become popular, they "trend.") is being used to slam the Israeli state, while defending Palestine's right to take back its self-proclaimed homeland.
So many people around the globe joined in on the anti-Israel bandwagon that the hashtag quickly become one of the most popular in the world. Below, you can see #IsraelHates listed among the most talked about topics on Twitter:
The hashtag was also trending in the United Kingdom after it disappeared from the worldwide trending list:
After seeing the bile coming from those individuals using the #IsraelHates tag, I decided to do a little investigating. It didn't take long to track down the individual behind the tweets -- a man named Ali Abunimah. Abunimah is the co-founder of Electronic Intifada, an online news publication that focuses upon Palestine's people and culture.
To verify that he was, indeed, the man behind the hashtag, I tweeted him and asked if he was the person behind it. Additionally, I asked what his motivations were for creating such a contentious message. Here is my initial message and his response:
Abunimah clearly believes that Israel is characterized by hate, so he decided to launch a Twitter trend that was fueled by...hate. It's a catch 22 of sorts and one worth noting.
Below, see some of the disturbing highlights from the ongoing #IsraelHates Twitter "campaign":
This is only a sampling of the comments that continue to be spewed on the social media platform. Of course, there has also been a major push for support among those who stand firmly opposed to this ongoing commentary.
Some Israelis have come out to defend their homeland. Additionally, Americans, among others, joined in to defend the Jewish state. #IsraelLoves has been employed to fight back against the initial trend.
Here are some of the pro-Israel tweets:
Last night, I decided to tweet #IsraelLoves to see what the response would be like. One man -- named "Awate" -- who claims he's a well-known performer in the UK responded with some of the most disturbing tweets I've ever received. He wrote:
He went on to send a few others:
In the end, individuals are free to express their opinions (within reason, of course). However, it's disturbing that a culture would be so openly attacked -- and to such a profoundly public level. You can monitor the #IsraelHates trend here.