To the great amusement of Iranians on social media, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official Twitter feed briefly followed an Iranian sex site before unsubscribing Sunday morning, some seven hours after The Times of Israel broke the story.
As of 1 a.m. on Sunday morning, @Netanyahu, the prime minister’s verified Twitter account, followed some 90 users on the social media network, the overwhelming majority of which were Israeli embassies and government accounts.
But one of the most recent that the prime minister’s account was following was @PersianHotBook, a feed which describes itself as “the first library of hot sex books [in the] Persian language.”
At the time, @PersianHotBook had only 15 followers, of which the prime minister’s account was one of the latest to join.
But as of Sunday morning, the prime minister’s Twitter feed no longer followed @PersianHotBook, and had also stopped following another 15 feeds, bringing down to 74 the number of feeds it was following.
The Prime Minister’s Office was unavailable for comment overnight Saturday. But Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Mark Regev told The Times of Israel on Sunday that his office had nothing to do with Netanyahu’s Twitter account. “I’m glad to say the Prime Minister’s Office has no connection to this,” Regev said.
On Sunday morning, the Likud Central Committee said it runs the account, and that the Iranian porn site follow was a “malfunction” that was being investigated, according to a tweet by Israel Radio reporter Chico Menashe.
The apparent Twitter faux pas was the second for Netanyahu among Iranians in a little over a week, after he was roundly mocked on social media for telling BBC Persian that Iranians should overthrow their government so they can be free to wear jeans.
That comment was followed on Twitter by a groundswell of pictures of ordinary Iranians showing off their denim duds.
One of the prime ministerial account’s last tweets before apparently gaining interest in @PersianHotBook was an innocuous message of condolence on the passing of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu expresses his deep sorrow over the passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. "He was among the greatest rabbis of our generation"
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) October 7, 2013
Iranians on Twitter responded to the discovery with unbridled amusement. Ashkan Alavi, an Iranian living in London, tweeted “Very Classy, Mr Prime Minister.”
— Ashkan Alavi (@Ashkan_Alavi) October 12, 2013
Another user, @Farrah_Joon wrote “Netanyahu is down with it #sexed #hotbook,” and @mims1112 concluded that she had a general indication of what kind of reading material Netanyahu had on his bedside table.
— Farrah Joon (@Farrah_Joon) October 12, 2013
— mims (@mims1112) October 12, 2013
@Prrrsiankitten, an Iranian residing in Los Angeles, said that Netanyahu’s interest in the Iranian sex feed explained why he “is trying so hard to penetrate Iran’s borders!”
@IlanBenZion No we know why Netanyahu is trying so hard to penetrate Iran's borders!
— prrrsiankitten™ (@prrrsiankitten) October 12, 2013