Netanyahu's son courts storm on social media

Reuters
From an argument over dog poo to an alleged anti-Semitic caricature he posted on Facebook, Yair Netanyahu is courting controversy with his social media activity.
Reuters

From an argument over dog poo to an alleged anti-Semitic caricature he posted on Facebook, Yair Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister’s 26-year-old son, is courting controversy with his social media activity.

The criticism of Netanyahu in Israel is turning into a sideshow to more weighty events: criminal investigations into corruption allegations against his father and mother.

They both deny any wrongdoing.

The young Netanyahu is widely seen in Israel as being groomed by his parents as a future political leader and the Facebook posts have attracted particular public interest.

On Saturday, he posted a cartoon using what the Anti-Defamation League, which monitors anti-Semitism worldwide, described as anti-Semitic imagery in a Facebook post mocking some of his father’s critics.

It included a depiction of US billionaire George Soros at the top of a food chain, dangling the world in front of both a reptile and ex-prime minister Ehud Barak, a frequent critic of Netanyahu.

Jewish financiers controlling the world is a well-known anti-Semitic theme. Soros supports left-wing and human rights organizations that have been highly critical of Israel and its treatment of Palestinians.

The Israel office of the Anti-Defamation League denounced the cartoon on Twitter, writing: “The caricature posted by Yair Netanyahu includes explicit anti-Semitic elements.”

In further Facebook posts following criticism for posting the cartoon, Yair Netanyahu, who is a university student, condemned the Israeli left for being two-faced in trying to silence him.

A family spokesman said Yair Netanyahu would not be making any other comment. The prime minister refused to answer questions from reporters about the post yesterday morning at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting.

Last month, the son made another headline-grabbing post after a protester was killed during a white nationalist rally in the US state of Virginia. It appeared to suggest that hard-left bodies now pose more danger than neo-Nazi groups, which he wrote are a dying breed.

In July, Netanyahu junior found himself in a bizarre social media row over dog poo.

A neighbor of the family said on Facebook that Yair responded with an obscene gesture and walked away after she had asked him to clean up the mess left by the dog he was walking in a park.


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