Netanyahu falsely claims press reported ‘nothing’ on Japan PM’s visit
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Not so honest with Abe

Netanyahu falsely claims press reported ‘nothing’ on Japan PM’s visit

Media analysts find that Hebrew media carried more than four dozen items about Shinzo Abe’s 12-hour trip — which was mostly closed to the press

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C-R) and visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C-L) pose for a group picture during a meeting with Japanese businessmen at the PM's office in Jerusalem on May 2, 2018. (AFP/Abir SULTAN)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C-R) and visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C-L) pose for a group picture during a meeting with Japanese businessmen at the PM's office in Jerusalem on May 2, 2018. (AFP/Abir SULTAN)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu complained about the press ignoring last week’s visit to Israel of Japan’s prime minister, despite the fact Hebrew media ran more than 50 items about various aspects of the trip.

“I want to tell you something,” Netanyahu said in a short video posted Friday to his Facebook account. “Japan’s prime minister visited here. He leads the world’s third-largest economy. He brought with him an enormous delegation of businessmen, the heads of the largest corporations. You know the names: Mitsubishi, Mitsui, and many others. Did you hear anything about this in the media? Nothing! So open my Facebook and learn about this.”

The video has been viewed more than 50,000 times and has garnered more than 4,000 likes.

Israeli diplomatic reporters took offense at Netanyahu’s claim, arguing that they had in fact reported extensively about Shinzo Abe’s whirlwind visit to the region. They asked the IFAT Media Analysis company for a quantitative examination of their coverage.

IFAT found that Hebrew media outlets ran 56 items about the visit, including 38 from national news organizations. This number does not include coverage by Israel’s English-language outlets. The Times of Israel, for instance, ran at least three articles about Shinzo’s Middle East trip.

ראש ממשלת יפן ביקר השבוע בישראל, שמעתם על זה בתקשורת?

השבוע ביקר בישראל ראש ממשלת יפן, ידידי שינזו אבה, שעומד בראש הכלכלה השלישית בגודלה בעולם. שמעתם על זה משהו בתקשורת?

Posted by ‎Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו‎ on Friday, 4 May 2018

Israeli reporters also pointed out that Abe’s meeting with Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Office, and the subsequent dinner at the prime minister’s residence, were closed to the press, as were other events of his 12-hour stay in Israel.

This was not the first time Netanyahu claimed that the press was ignoring his diplomatic meetings with world leaders despite evidence to the contrary.

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