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Netanyahu orders son to leave social media following tweet attacking US

April 13, 2023 at 3:59 pm

Yair Netanyhahu in Washington, US on 11 June 2019 [Yair Netanyhahu/Facebook]

Yair Netanyahu, the 32-year-old son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been ordered by his parents to put an end to his extreme activities on social media, the Times of Israel has reported.

The demand was made amid fears that he risked diplomatic ties with the US following a controversial tweet posted two weeks ago: “The American State Department is behind the protests in Israel, with the aim of overthrowing Netanyahu, apparently in order to conclude an agreement with the Iranians. Is there a Shin Bet in this country?”

Last month, Yair Netanyahu described Israeli protesters against his father’s government as “terrorists” who “must be jailed”.

“They are not protesters. They are not anarchists either. They are terrorists,” he tweeted. “A violent underground has arisen here, financed by criminals and evil billionaires. This is domestic terrorism. Even if it takes time, eventually they will be prosecuted for all their crimes.”

The prime minister’s son has not been active on the social media site since then. The Israeli website Walla cites three reliable close sources who claim that his social media break is the result of a demand from his parents, who told him that he was causing harm and asked him to “calm down” and lower his profile. Walla added that the demand resulted in a serious argument, with one source describing it as “an explosion”.

This happened as Netanyahu Snr responded to pressure and announced a temporary halt to the judicial overhaul plans on 27 March. However, several far-right MKs and ministers have said that the judicial overhaul will be approved by the Knesset sooner or later.

Yair Netanyahu has since been seen at Ben Gurion Airport on his way to the US, where he is expected to stay for several months, added Walla. He normally lives with his parents at the official prime minister’s residence, and is infamous for his controversial statements.

In 2020, he posted an offensive picture of the Hindu goddess Durga to attack his father’s critics, while in 2019, he was criticised after publishing several tweets denying the existence of Palestine because there is no “P” in the Arabic language.

Moreover, in 2021, he was ordered to pay 500,000 shekels ($151,400) for defaming the Blue and White activist Dana Cassidy, with false claims posted on Twitter that she had an “intimate and sexual relationship” with party leader Benny Gantz.

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