Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new social media chief was reportedly suspended for making inappropriate statements on his personal Facebook page.
Daniel Seaman, the prime minister’s recently appointed director for interactive media, suggested that Palestinians who commemorate the Nakba, an Arabic word referring to the “catastrophe” that is Israel’s victory in the 1948 war, may want to reflect on how “stupid” they are.
Seaman, former head of the Government Press Office, and a deputy director-general in the now extinct Ministry of Public Diplomacy, also wrote he was “sick” of commemorations for the victims of the nuclear bombs dropped in Japan during World War II because “Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the consequence of Japanese aggression. You reap what you sow.” He added: ”Instead, they should be commemorating the estimated 50 million Chinese, Korean and other victims of Japanese imperial aggression and genocide – not to mention nearly 120,000 Allied military casualties who fought to defeat the genocidal Japanese. These are who deserve to be and should be remembered this week.”
Israeli media quoted unnamed officials as saying that Seaman, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, was suspended from his post.
Japanese diplomats had reportedly contacted the Foreign Ministry to ascertain whether Seaman’s August 8 post reflected official policy.
In previous posts, Seaman had slammed the Church of Scotland for a report which rejected Jewish rights to the Holy Land: “The Church of Scotland? The Calvinist, Presbytarian [sic] Church of Scotland? Why do you think we give a flyin **** what you have to say?”
And last month, at the beginning of Ramadan, he asked whether the month-long Muslim fast meant “that Muslims will stop eating each other during the daytime?”
A post in May read: “Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said his side would only agree to renew peace talks if Israel ceased all settlement activity and openly declared that a future state of Palestine would be created on the 1967 lines adding that this should not be viewed as a precondition to talks but rather as an Israeli duty. Is there a diplomatic way of saying “Go F*^& yourself”?”
Another the same month stated: “The Palestinians commemorated the Naqba with a 65 second siren in Ramallah. That’s not nearly enough time to stop and pause to think about how stupid they are.”
The Prime Minister’s Office distanced itself from the statements and said they were “not acceptable” and did not represent government positions.
On Tuesday, Seaman had posted on his Facebook page: “In light of the sudden interest in my facebook page I would like to stress that what I write here are my personal opinions which in no way reflects official positions of the State of Israel. As I will be soon be joining the Prime Minister’s office I will keep my private opinions to myself.”
The news came soon after reports that Seaman was working to set up a network of advocacy units in Israeli universities, operated by students who will receive scholarships for their efforts totaling nearly NIS 3 million ($845,000).