The son of the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been temporarily banned from Facebook after a series of anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian posts the social network said broke its rules on hate speech.
The company confirmed the ban after Yair Netanyahu, 27, claimed in a tweet on Sunday that Facebook had blocked him for 24 hours for posting criticism after it removed a post last week in which he called for revenge against “those monsters” following the fatal shooting of two Israeli soldiers by a Palestinian at a bus station in the West Bank.
לא זה פשוט לא יאומן. פייסבוק חוסמת אותי ל24 שעות על כך שביקרתי אותה! דיקטטורת מחשבות pic.twitter.com/P9U2bgz4Vi
— Yair Netanyahu (@Yairhunn) December 16, 2018
The prime minister’s son also called in his Facebook posts last week for the expulsion of Palestinians, writing that he would prefer all Muslims to leave Israel.
In his tweet on Sunday, Netanyahu included a screenshot of one of the removed posts in which he wrote: “The thought police of the radical progressives at Facebook have reached me as well!”
A Facebook spokesperson said: “Yair Netanyahu posted several posts which included hate speech – this clearly violates our community standards. Due to that, this content was removed from our platform, as we would do for anyone posting similar content about any protected characteristic. Following this, Yair Netanyahu decided to share a screen shot of a removed post and called people to share it – which is the same as writing the hate speech all over again.”
The company said it never removes posts for criticising the company and Netanyahu’s claim “that we are censoring criticism of the company on the platform is plainly untrue”.
Yair Netanyahu, the eldest of the prime minister’s children, has previously stoked controversy on his social media platforms, echoing his father’s message that Israel’s media and left are against him.
He posted a meme last year mocking some of his father’s critics, including the liberal Jewish financier George Soros, which many Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation league, said was antisemitic.
Over the last week there has been an escalation of violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, in which five Palestinians and three Israelis, including a prematurely born baby, have been killed in attacks, clashes and arrest operations.
After two Israeli soldiers were killed, Netanyahu called for revenge. When Facebook removed that post, he wrote in another post, since removed, that Facebook was “trying to shut our mouths in the only place where we have the right to express our opinions”.
He continued: “Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iranian regime have official pages on Facebook. There are also endless pages calling for the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews. Thousands of violent and extreme left-wing posts against me and my family, including threats of physical violence and immoral murder threats.”
While Netanyahu’s political posts and attacks on Facebook resonate among some Israelis, less popular are scandals over his public access. Last year, Israeli media released a recording from a few years ago of Netanyahu on a night out with friends at a strip club, during which he makes misogynistic statements and asks to borrow money from the son of one of his father’s friends.
The prime minister’s critics have attacked Yair for living in his father’s residence and having a driver, bodyguard and other perks despite not having any official government role.
Read more at The Guardian.