New Netanyahu adviser closes Twitter account following backlash

Gilad Zwick recently tweeted that IAF pilots would let Iran destroy Israel, in addition to spreading 2020 US election fraud conspiracies

Gilad Zwick in a Channel 14 report, January 19, 2023. (Channel 14 screenshot; Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Gilad Zwick in a Channel 14 report, January 19, 2023. (Channel 14 screenshot; Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new media adviser, Gilad Zwick, shut down his Twitter account on Tuesday following a wave of controversy sparked by his past tweets.

His move came amid fresh picking up recent tweets in which he had suggested that IAF pilots would let Iran destroy Israel, an apparent reference to reserve pilots protesting the government’s bid to radically overhaul the judiciary.

Zwick also attacked Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Twitter, alleging that Gallant’s criticism of the overhaul, which led to his dismissal by Netanyahu, was contributing to a “silent military coup, without the need for tanks.” He later criticized Netanyahu for reinstating Gallant.

Zwick, who had 30,000 followers prior to closing his account, had also written that the Biden administration was “spreading its legs for the Nazis from Tehran.”

While Zwick’s account was deactivated, many of his controversial tweets remain accessible via screenshots on his Facebook page.

The uproar surrounding Zwick was primarily incited by his endorsement of 2020 US election fraud conspiracies and assertions that US President Joe Biden was “destroying America.”

In an attempt to address the concerns, Zwick, who previously worked as a journalist for the right-wing Channel 14 news station and Yisrael Hayom daily, clarified his position in an English tweet, stating that his past views no longer represented his current stance and insisted that he would remain professional in his new role.

After Biden won the 2020 US presidential election, Zwick promoted former US president Donald Trump’s debunked claims that the election was fraudulent.

“These elections will not be decided without a fight,” he wrote several days after the election. “I hope right-wing politicians here will learn from their American counterparts a thing or two about courage and determination.”

Zwick shared a video that supposedly showed four ballot workers in Georgia opening “suitcases with forms under the table, and beginning energetically scanning for at least two hours — of course, without any supervision.”

He claimed that the workers had counted 18,000 ballots, more than the margin by which Biden defeated Trump in the state. Trump is under investigation in Georgia for calling the state’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on January 2, 2021, and asking him to “find 11,780 votes” to give him an edge over Biden.

Zwick tweeted that “election workers” in Michigan had testified under oath about frauds occurring in the state.

He also promoted false claims that the Dominion Voting Systems machines had flipped votes to Biden.

“Another interesting development,” he wrote three weeks after the election. “Dominion representatives refused to appear before Pennsylvanian legislatures about the safety of their machines. What do they have to hide?”

Biden has publicly expressed concern over the Netanyahu government’s judicial overhaul plan, which has sparked mass protests that continue weekly even after the plan was put on hold.

The US administration has also voiced unease about Netanyahu’s government, which is propped up by ultranationalists who were once at the fringes of Israeli politics and now hold senior positions dealing with the Palestinians and other sensitive issues.

Amid the tensions, Biden has so far denied Netanyahu a customary invitation to the White House following his election win late last year.

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