The editor of a prominent American neo-Nazi website has expressed support for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair, who posted a meme online over the weekend that was rife with anti-Semitic imagery.
“I stand with Yair and his meme and I’m glad to see that there’s an alt-right in Israel who are standing against the corrosive influence in the West of the Jewish people,” Andrew Anglin, the editor of the Daily Stormer, told Channel 2 on Tuesday night.
“Yair is under attack here. I mean, the man cannot be judged by his father, the man is being attacked by everyone in the world,” he said in a video call.
Over the weekend, Yair Netanyahu posted a meme depicting American Jewish billionaire George Soros and a figure that resembles Nazi depictions of world Jewry manipulating former Prime Minister Ehud Barak and two leaders of weekly protests calling on Netanyahu to step down over corruption allegations.
Netanyahu’s post sparked an outcry from Israeli and US Jewish leaders.
“All the American Jews are coming out and attacking him, all these leftist Israeli papers are calling him an anti-Semite,” Anglin said, adding that “what he is doing is standing up against George Soros and the liberal Jews.”
“I’m defending Yair Netanyahu because he stood up against the Jews,” he said.
“I’ve just become informed that there is a Jewish-Israeli alt-right. I’m happy to see this; they’re using some of our memes that are based on our movement,” Anglin added. “They are bothered sick by the same people in the same way.”
Yair Netanyahu took down the offending caricature on Sunday, but not before the post was shared by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and other known anti-Semites.
On Saturday, Anglin’s Daily Stormer praised the prime minister’s son for posting the image.
In an article titled “Netanyahu’s Son Posts Awesome Meme Blaming the Jews for Bringing Down His Jew Father,” the website wrote, “Yair Netanyahu is a total bro.”
“Next he’s going [sic] call for gassings,” it added.
On Tuesday, the Daily Stormer featured Yair Netanyahu on its homepage banner, declaring website to be the “The World’s #1 Yair Netanyahu fansite.”
The 26-year-old Netanyahu has drawn criticism for living a life of privilege at taxpayers’ expense and for his crude social media posts.
The Netanyahu family is facing a slew of corruption allegations. The prime minister has been questioned about his ties to executives in media, international business and Hollywood. His associates have been engulfed in a probe relating to a possible conflict of interest involving the $2 billion purchase of German submarines. Israel’s attorney general has said he intends to indict the prime minister’s wife, Sara, for fraud over her bloated household expenses.
The younger Netanyahu, who has reportedly taken a leading role in his father’s aggressive social media strategy, has also been drawn into the scandals.
Australian billionaire James Packer has reportedly lavished Yair with gifts that included extended stays at luxury hotels in Tel Aviv, New York and Aspen, Colorado, as well as the use of his private jet and dozens of tickets for concerts by Packer’s former fiancee, Mariah Carey.
Police are trying to determine whether these constitute bribes, since Packer is reportedly seeking Israeli residency status for tax purposes.
The prime minister has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, portraying the accusations as a witch hunt against him and his family by a hostile media. He has resisted increasingly vocal calls by opposition MKs to step down.
Agencies and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report