Deputy Knesset speaker blocked by X for call to 'burn Gaza'

Yair Netanyahu shares posts casting blame for Oct. 7 on courts, security services

Premier’s son, in Miami since before outbreak of war, shares clips and headlines implying judicial system, IDF and Shin Bet bear responsibility for massacre

Yair Netanyahu arrives for a court hearing in Tel Aviv, on November 29, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Yair Netanyahu arrives for a court hearing in Tel Aviv, on November 29, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair shared posts on his Telegram account on Saturday that cast blame on the Israel Defense Forces, Shin Bet and the High Court for the failures leading to the devastating October 7 assault by Hamas.

Yair Netanyahu, who moved to Miami earlier this year and has stayed there despite the war in Israel, shared a clip on “how the High Court changed the security arrangements and the instructions for opening fire on the border of the Gaza Strip.”

The clip featured a video of an attorney from the Kohelet Policy Forum, the conservative think tank whose ideas formed the ideological basis of the government’s contentious judicial overhaul program.

Yair also shared a screen grab of an unsourced news item from the Kan public broadcaster on October 2 that stated: “The message sent by the Shin Bet and the IDF to the political echelon: In order to preserve peace in the Gaza Strip — economic operations for Gaza must continue.”

The premier’s son also shared with his 14,000 subscribers a headline from a Channel 12 report on surveillance soldiers who warned of Hamas activity on Gaza border for months before the onslaught, but were ignored by their commanders.

He also disparaged journalists for “asking political questions and carrying out polls,” an apparent reference to recent surveys showing a nosedive in support for the premier and his Likud party.

File: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and son Yair in Tel Aviv, January 23, 2020. (Aleksey Nikolskyi/Sputnik Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Yair later claimed that Channel 12 was inciting against him for first reporting the stories he was sending in his Telegram channel.

The prime minister’s son has moved to Florida, reportedly after Netanyahu and his wife demanded that he stop posting on social media and not speak directly with lawmakers or ministers amid accusations he was inflaming tensions in Israel and exacerbating a diplomatic rift with the United States.

He has faced criticism for remaining in the US despite the outbreak of war, as tens of thousands of Israelis returned home to join the over 300,000 reservists initially called up.

Last week the premier said, after a reportedly planted question in a press conference, that Yair was volunteering in the US and acquiring equipment for the military and emergency services.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on November 11, 2023. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool/Flash90)

Netanyahu has repeatedly refused to publicly take responsibility for the failures that led to the Hamas massacre, saying instead that it will be investigated after the war.

Earlier this month, Netanyahu reportedly appeared to intimate that protests by reserve soldiers against his coalition’s judicial overhaul legislation earlier this year may have been a factor in the Hamas’s decision to launch its brutal incursion on October 7, in an apparent attempt to deflect responsibility for failures that led to the slaughter of 1,200 people in southern Israel and the abduction of over 240 to Gaza, and the ongoing war with the terror group.

He later denied making any such comments.

Several Hebrew media outlets have reported that Netanyahu believes that, after the war, Israel must probe any connection between “insubordination” in the military and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar’s motivation to launch the deadly onslaught, referring to some reservists’ refusal to show up for reserve duty before the war in protest of his government’s polarizing judicial overhaul package.

Separately, Knesset Deputy Speaker Nissim Vaturi caused uproar for a post on Friday in which he called to “burn Gaza now, nothing less!”

Likud MK Nissim Vaturi attends a discussion in the Knesset in Jerusalem, November 21, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Vaturi was blocked from X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. He said Saturday that he thought he would be reinstated when he deleted the post, but that was not the case.

In any case, the Likud lawmaker was unrepentant.

“Little children were murdered, I didn’t see that they blocked the terrorist organizations in the Middle East,” he told Channel 12 news.

“I say, yes, we will burn Gaza. There are a hundred thousand people, of whom the vast majority of those who remain there are terrorists. I don’t think it’s something that someone should be blocked [for on X]. I didn’t say to burn children the way they burned them,” he said.

On October 7, thousands of terrorists burst across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land, air and sea, killing some 1,200 people and seizing about 240 hostages of all ages under the cover of a deluge of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities.

The vast majority of those killed as gunmen seized border communities were civilians, many of them slaughtered amid horrific acts of brutality by the terrorists. Entire families were executed in their homes, many of them burned alive. Some 360 were massacred at an outdoor music festival.

According to Gaza’s Hamas-run health authorities, 12,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the war sparked by the massacre, two-thirds of them women and minors. Those figures cannot be independently verified, and Hamas has been accused of inflating them and of designating gunmen in their late teens as children. It is not known how many among its total are combatants, and how many among the dead were victims of misfired rockets aimed at Israel.

Most Popular
read more: