A man was convicted on Wednesday for harassment over a tweet in which he graphically threatened to sexually assault Sara Netanyahu, the wife of the prime minister.
Boaz Drori, a 56-year-old resident of the central city of Givatayim, was sentenced by the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court to pay a NIS 800 ($230) fine to Netanyahu and serve a two-month suspended prison term as part of a plea deal.
In 2019, Drori, who had around 1,000 followers on Twitter, described a sexual act that he would perform because he was “so patriotic,” essentially threatening to rape the prime minister’s wife for the sake of the nation.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that Drori’s words “should not be taken lightly.”
“The accused chose to comment on the platform, addressing the complainant with a derogatory and humiliating expression regarding her sexuality. The said publication was made public. In today’s reality, platforms are characterized by accessibility and we as a society should not allow offensive declarations on these platforms,” the prosecution said.
Drori’s attorney said that his client regrets his actions, and did not want to argue the case in order to avoid a “media circus.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made several complaints to the police over threats to harm him and his family.
On Saturday, the Shin Bet internal security agency released a statement saying it had identified an “increase in violent and inciting discourse against elected officials in general and the prime minister in particular.”
In light of the increased incidence of “incitement, harm, and threats,” Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai said Saturday his force would employ a “zero tolerance” approach to social media posts calling for violence against public figures.
Shabtai said he would ensure that “police will not deny anyone the freedom of protest in a democratic country, but at the same time we will not allow violent, inciting and threatening discourse.”