Israeli diplomats said to lament FM Katz’s ‘weird, ineffective’ social media trolling

Foreign Minister Israel Katz in Jerusalem, February 19, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
Foreign Minister Israel Katz in Jerusalem, February 19, 2024. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

A number of Israeli diplomats have begun anonymously speaking out against their boss, Foreign Minister Israel Katz, who has made an undiplomatic habit of trolling countries on social media in response to policies he disagrees with.

Katz regularly trolls Turkey and its President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has repeatedly compared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Hitler. Katz accuses Ankara of perpetrating a genocide against the Armenian minority — a genocide Israel has long refused to formally recognize.

Since Spain, Norway and Ireland recognized the state of Palestine, Katz set his sights on attacking the three countries on X.

Katz published a video that compiled footage from Hamas’s October 7 onslaught with a couple dancing flamenco, including the caption”Hamas thanks you for your service.”

The Financial Times reports that the public diplomacy strategy “has been met with a mixture of bafflement and eye-rolling” in Katz’s office.

“I don’t think any other foreign minister is doing what he’s doing,” one diplomat tells FT in a story headlined, “Israel’s ‘trolling’ foreign minister confronts the world.”

“It’s just weird… I think he thinks it works . . . But it’s not effective. People see it as aggressive and offensive, not as an effective means of communication,” another diplomat tells the British publication.

Other diplomats explained to FT that the undiplomatic approach was a result of Katz’s limited role in decision-making, given that Netanyahu leads most of Israel’s contacts with countries abroad and that Katz is not part of the powerful war cabinet.

“It’s a means for him to make noise and be seen,” says another diplomat, who acknowledged the foreign ministry’s general lack of prominence.

Most Popular