Netanyahu posts video highlighting ‘incitement to murder’ against him

Clip purportedly shows protesters at recent rallies threatening to kill premier and his family amid growing atmosphere of violence surrounding demonstrations

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits an IDF Northern Command base in Safed on July 28, 2020. (David Cohen/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits an IDF Northern Command base in Safed on July 28, 2020. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted a video Friday to his social media accounts that he said highlights examples of “incitement” against him at recent anti-government protests.

The video clip, posted to the premier’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, opens with the text, “The incitement to murder PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his family is breaking records.”

It goes on to show an image of Netanyahu with crosshairs aimed at his head, and a montage of what it says are protesters threatening the premier.

“We will bury you and your wife and children,” one woman says.

“We know why you need security guards. Believe me, we know. One day you will be without security guards,” a speaker says into a microphone.

Another woman, holding a poster with Netanyahu’s face on it, makes a throat-slitting gesture with her hand.

The video shows graffiti on a wall that reads, “Death to Bibi,” referring to Netanyahu by his nickname, and a screenshot of a social media post referring to Netanyahu’s son that says, “I wish Yair Netanyahu will be orphaned by his two parents soon.”

Other online posts in the video curse Netanyahu, call for his murder and picture him in a noose.

The video implied that the material was related to recent protests, but the actual provenance of all the clips and images in the video was not immediately clear.

In a caption posted with the video, Netanyahu wrote, “Every discovery of incitement and terrible hate at the left-wing protests and the calls for murder — won’t stop me from acting to benefit you and our country.”

“I hope that we will be able to stop these terrible manifestations of hate and incitement, and return to uniting as a people and a state in our shared struggle against the coronavirus to save lives and livelihoods of Israeli citizens,” he wrote.

Protesters have for weeks been holding regular rallies outside the Prime Minister’s Residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem, as well as in Tel Aviv and other areas, calling on the premier to resign due to his indictment on corruption charges. They have been joined in recent weeks by people protesting the government’s economic policies during the coronavirus pandemic, with crowds in the thousands and rising.

Recent protests have devolved into violence with attacks by right-wing counter-protesters, and scuffles between anti-government demonstrators and police.

Israelis protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his official residence in Jerusalem on July 30, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Netanyahu and some of his allies have sought to portray the demonstrators as violent and as “anarchists,” and several people have been arrested for threatening the premier.

Netanyahu posted online on Wednesday a threat to kill him from a Facebook profile which was later determined to be fake and has since been removed from the platform. In the post, Netanyahu also drew attention to the arrest of a man who threatened him and his wife and was found to be in possession of a plastic gun and two razor blades.

A prominent left-wing activist, whose photo was included in the Wednesday post, but who had nothing to do with the threat or arrest, filed a police complaint against Netanyahu’s social media manager on Thursday for incitement.

Earlier this month a Beersheba man was indicted for threatening Netanyahu on social media. The man, 39, was arrested following an investigation by the Lahav 433 national crime unit’s cyber division. He was identified by Hebrew media as Asher Ben Dor.

Last month an Ashkelon man was indicted for posting threats to Netanyahu on social media. Tzvi Sabag, 57, was accused of penning Facebook posts with direct threats against the premier in November of last year and also threatening Yair Netanyahu.

Also in June, a man was arrested for threatening Netanyahu in a social media post, police said, without providing further details on the threats. The suspect, a 21-year-old resident of the north of Israel, was arrested by the police.

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