Netanyahu walks back call to jail reporter: ‘Very unfortunate phrasing’

Prime Minister Netanyahu was asked at the coronavirus press conference if he would like to take back his retweet calling to jail a journalist, Channel 13’s Raviv Drucker, without trial, for doing his job. He was reminded that he once said of Turkey that a state that jails journalists is not a democratic state.

“I am not a believer in putting journalists in jail, yes. That’s absurd. And if that was said, it was very unfortunate phrasing by the spokesperson. That happens from time to time,” he said.

Netanyahu, who had retweeted a statement issued by his Likud party, did not directly acknowledge his retweet.

The premier also added that “It cannot be that journalists obstruct legal proceedings. It cannot be that journalists manipulate witnesses in legal proceedings. This cannot be. These things must be checked and probed. Nobody is above the law — and that includes journalists.”

There is no evidence that Drucker has done any of these things — having reported on leaked transcripts of conversations between suspects and witnesses in the prime minister’s criminal cases.

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