Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday edited himself into a tweet about a news story on independent credit ratings provider S&P affirming Israel’s relatively strong rating.
Journalist Matan Amir pointed out that the photo that actually accompanies the story on the Globes business news website is of Finance Minister Israel Katz, a senior member of Netanyahu’s Likud party.
Amir also noted that the Globes story has no photo of Netanyahu at all, and showed screenshots of the Globes tweets of the story with Katz’s photo as proof that the website had not switched photos after the fact.
In response, Globes Editor-in-Chief Naama Sikuler issued a clarification that the story had been published alongside Katz’s photo and “everything that happened later is the prime minister’s responsibility.”
Asked on Twitter whether she thought what Netanyahu did was legitimate, Globes CEO Alona Bar-On said: “Of course not.”
בציוץ שלו רה"מ הדביק את התמונה שלו לכתבה של גלובס, אבל בכתבה המקורית הם דווקא בחרו במישהו אחר ????
(התמונה של נתניהו לא מופיעה גם בהמשך הכתבה) pic.twitter.com/mAa5Mv31Yw
— Matan Amir (@matan_amirr) November 14, 2020
Netanyahu has long been accused of sidelining, and at times blackballing, top members of his Likud party to prevent them from challenging his leadership.
Netanyahu’s media adviser, Topaz Luk, was interviewed by the Kan public broadcaster on Sunday and tried to shake off repeated questions about the matter.
“I don’t know if we switched the photo,” Luk said, changing the subject to Netanyahu’s handling of the economy, and accusing the media of trying to “sow conflict.”
He then appeared to admit that the photo was switched, but insisted that was not an attempt to undermine Katz, and that Netanyahu “gives Katz full credit.”
The interview was conducted by Kan’s Geula Even-Sa’ar, whose husband, MK Gideon Sa’ar, is another Likud member who has long been accusing Netanyahu of sidelining him.