Spain’s far right leader slams Yair Netanyahu as ‘ignorant and frivolous’

Santiago Abascal, head of the Vox party, tweets that prime minister’s son harms Israel’s cause by calling for Arabs to reconquer Spain’s north African territories

Yair Netanyahu, son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Flash90)
Yair Netanyahu, son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Flash90)

The leader of a Spain’s far-right political party on Sunday gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, Yair, a dressing down, saying he was ignorant of Spanish history and doing Israel more damage than good with his social media advocacy.

“Before encouraging an Islamist invasion of our homeland, you should at least know a little about our history,” tweeted Vox party leader Santiago Abascal. “Spain was invaded by the Islamists and recovered after a reconquest of 8 centuries. You are ignorant and frivolous. And you do serious damage to your own cause.”

Abascal was responding to a weekend tweet from Yair Netanyahu in which he called for Arabs and Muslims to conquer Spanish lands in north Africa.

Netanyahu replied to Abascal’s criticism, saying if the Spanish were upset at his call for action to Muslims, then they should consider how Israel feels when Spain supports pro-Palestinian causes.

Santiago Abascal, center, leader of far right party Vox, gestures after casting his ballot at a polling station for Spain’s general election in Madrid, Sunday, April 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrea Comas)

“Dear Spanish people,” Netanyahu responded. “I see you all got upset. Ceuta and Melilla are tiny territories you own across the sea on another continent. Now imagine how we feel when your government calls for Israel to give away Judea & Samaria (West Bank), which is the Jewish heartland and its Place of birth for more then 3000 years ago (it’s in the Bible check it out).

“Let’s make a deal, we won’t fund NGOs in your country calling you to give away Ceuta and Melilla, and you will *stop* funding NGOs in our country that calls us to give away Judea and Samaria,” Netanyahu added.

On May 25 Netanyahu had tweeted “Dear Arabs and Muslims. Want to free occupied Arab and Islamic lands? Here’s a good start!”

The tweet included a map showing Spanish territories along Africa’s Mediterranean coast.

Last month the Likud party’s foreign affairs director Eli Hazan apologized for endorsing Spain’s Vox. Hazan had tweeted good luck to Vox’s leader in the general election, and called the extremist party “Likud’s sister party.”

The platform of Vox, which means voice in Latin, is to defend Spain from what it says are the dangers of separatism, Muslim immigration, feminism and liberals.

In March, the party tapped a Holocaust revisionist as a congressional candidate for the central Spanish city of Albacete. The candidate, historian Fernando Paz, quickly dropped out of the race citing the intense scrutiny he faced in the Spanish media. Among Vox’s other candidates are retired generals who defend Franco’s far-right regime.

On May 20 the younger Netanyahu drew criticism after he tweeted support for far-right leaders in elections for the European Parliament. Far-right parties made significant gains in the bloc’s elections.

In response to the criticism Netanyahu wrote, “To all the liberals who went bananas over this twit [sic]: you are crazy! These leaders are true friends of Israel and the Jewish people. Unlike Jeremy Cornyn, Rashida talib, Linda sarsour etc that you adore who are actually antisemites and racist!”

Yair Netanyahu has developed a reputation as a fierce and often undiplomatic defender of Israel and his father’s government policies on social media, often engaging in online spats with journalists and others.

In December 2018, he was briefly banned from Facebook for making anti-Muslim comments. That same month he was censured by a judge for using crude language while being cross-examined during a libel case he filed against an activist. He also called the activist’s supporters, who protested outside the courtroom, “brownshirts,” referring to Nazi thugs.

A year earlier he came under fire for posting an anti-Semitic meme showing Jewish philanthropist George Soros as pulling the strings behind the investigations into his father.

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