This issue of the Newsletter covers the period 1-4 February 2018. Israeli social media networks were preoccupied with several issues. Most notably, social media activists engaged in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attack on media outlets and journalists for various reasons.
Netanyahu attacked journalist Ben Kaspit, who published a book exposing many of Netanyahu’s secrets, which had not been known to Israeli media outlets.
Netanyahu also attacked A Wonderful Land, a comedy show of Channel 2. Netanyahu released a video of a lady who survived the Holocaust, claiming that the show mocked the Holocaust which befell the Jews. Netanyahu made clear how resentful he was of the TV show. However, according to analysts, the comedy show did not ridicule the Holocaust survivors.
Israeli social media platforms largely interacted with both issues. While some bloggers supported them, others refuted the Prime Minister’s claims. The latter argued that Netanyahu was hostile to media outlets, which expose corruption files associated with him.
Additionally, Israeli social media activists were taken up by the Knesset’s Ethics Committee, which blocked Oren Hazan from the Knesset plenum and committees for six months on the grounds of complaints filed by certain parliamentary blocs. The Knesset decided that Hazan’s salary would also be docked for a week (NIS 10,500). The MK’s suspension was viewed a reward from Arab members of Knesset.
A video of MK Tzipi Livni went viral on Facebook. In this video, Livni is shown delivering a lecture, where a student addresses her: “Save us from them [meaning the Palestinian side].” The student claimed that Livni cared more for the Palestinian side than for Israel, arousing the rancour of Livni. Consequently, Livni said that Abu Mazen did not matter to her. Whether a Palestinian state is established or not did not concern her. What she really worried about was keeping her two sons.
Commenting on the video, Livni said: “This is my reply to those who claim that I care for the Arabs and do not attach importance to the interest of the Jews.”