Netanyahu blasts Israeli media for downplaying journalist’s ‘incitement’ against him

Jas Chana

(JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized his nation’s media for downplaying a journalist’s “incitement” against him in a post on his Facebook page.

Netanyahu’s comments on social media followed his filing of a police complaint against Gilad Halpern, an editor of the English-language edition of Ynet, who uploaded a photoshopped image of Netanyahu in an SS uniform to his Facebook page on Oct. 21. The image was swiftly deleted, but not before the prime minister was able to alert Israeli authorities.

Ynet responded to Halpern’s actions by summoning him to a disciplinary hearing the following day. He was released from his post over the weekend, Israel National News reported.

Despite the disciplinary action, Netanyahu on Facebook criticized the Israeli media for failing to appropriately condemn Halpern’s Facebook post.


“It’s interesting that the media in Israel, which always appears to be ‘shocked’ by incitement against Israeli leaders, chose to downplay the incitement against me in this post,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Netanyahu went on to slam Israel’s Channel 2 news commentator Ammon Abramovich for choosing not to address the situation after having spoken out against a similar post that depicted Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in an SS uniform.

“[Abamovich] was right to cry out about that post, but he could not spare a single word to talk about what Gilad Halpern did. What would have happened had it been a picture of a different leader? We already know the answer,” Netanyahu wrote.

The caption on Halpern’s doctored photo of Netanyahu referenced the prime minister’s comments last week that the late Palestinian leader Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem during World War II, was partly responsible for Hitler’s decision to conduct the Final Solution, Israel National News reported.

Ynet has since released a statement addressing the situation and Halpern’s firing.

“We condemn all attempts of incitement and take them very seriously,” the statement read, according to Israel Hayom. “After learning of the photo’s publication on the employee’s personal Facebook page, he was summoned for a hearing, following which he was terminated from his position at the website.”   

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