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Israel’s Netanyahu says Facebook is undermining his election campaign

February 14, 2020 at 1:36 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives to deliver a statement to the media in his residency in Jerusalem 28 February, 2019 [REUTERS/ Ronen Zvulun]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has complained to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the social media network’s treatment of his Likud party after his account was suspended twice prior to September’s election, Haaretz reported.

Almost a week before the last Israeli elections in September, Facebook blocked the PM’s account for 24-hours after he openly incited against Arab citizens and the elected Arab leadership in Israel.

In a post, Netanyahu said a coalition government which includes Arab members of the Knesset would be a “weak leftist government formed by Arabs who want to exterminate us all, children, women, and men. This government will allow Iran to acquire a nuclear bomb to destroy us all”.

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His account was suspended again on election day as poll results were published in contravention of Israel’s election laws which ban polls being published while people are voting.

Netanyahu’s complaint comes as Israel prepares for its third election in under a year, set to take place on 2 March. Sources with information about the conversation between the PM and Zuckerberg said the former had asked the head of the social media giant to ensure that all parties are treated equally ahead of the upcoming election.

“We are constantly talking with leaders worldwide,” a company spokesperson said. “Mark stressed in this conversation that Facebook is a platform open to all ideas.”