Likud to clamp down on fake Netanyahu web pages
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Likud to clamp down on fake Netanyahu web pages

Party is not amused by spate of spoof Internet accounts publishing false content in the name of prime minister

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the opening session of the 20th Israeli parliament, held at the Knesset (Israeli parliament) on March 31, 2015. (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the opening session of the 20th Israeli parliament, held at the Knesset (Israeli parliament) on March 31, 2015. (photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The Likud party said on Wednesday that it would consider taking legal action against fake Internet pages and accounts set up in the name of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that have been used to lampoon the Israeli leader as well spread false information.

The party said in a statement that its legal adviser attorney Avi Halevi would look at the options available to prevent the practice, the Hebrew-language NRG website reported.

“The directive came after an increase in the phenomenon of Facebook pages pretending to be from the prime minister that publish fake content in the name of Netanyahu and attributing to him things that never happened,” the party said.

Although the statement did not mention any particular incidents, it came hours after a spoof Netanyahu Facebook account claimed that the prime minister was gong to atone for offending Arab voters during the recent elections by appointing Joint Arab List head Ayman Odah as Israel’s next education minister.

בכדי להראות את רצינות כוונותיי לתיקון השסעים בחברה הישראלית, לאחר התנצלותי על אמירתי כי "אזרחים ערבים נוהרים לקלפיות" ער…

Posted by ‎Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו ראש ממשלת ישראל‎ on Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Facebook message, published hours after midnight on April 1 — April Fool’s Day — offered Netanyahu’s deep desire to repair the rifts in Israeli society as the reason for the appointment.

“It is about time we tasked the education of our children to someone who knows both sides well, and whose values we would want our children to embrace,” the fake Netanyahu post read.

The real Netanyahu drew a storm of criticism after he urged the public to go out and vote on election day because “the Arabs are going to vote in droves” threatening a Likud party victory and the formation of a right-wing government.

He later publicly apologized to representatives of Israel’s minority communities.

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