Netanyahu's Son Demonstrates Another Political Risk of Social Media

Furor over Yair Netanyahu's Facebook post: "Terror has a religion and it is Islam"

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The online indiscretions of Yair Netanyahu, the son of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, aren't helping the peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Today the Israeli newspaper Haaretz uncovered a series of Facebook messages posted by the prime minister's 19-year-old son disparaging Muslims and calling on a boycott of Arab business and products. "Terror has a religion and it is Islam," Yair wrote, adding that Muslims "celebrate hate and death." The report sparked condemnation from Palestinian groups, reports the Associated Press and elicited a statement from the Israeli military, which said commanders had spoken to Yair "to clarify to the soldier the military commands, outlining his mistakes, as would be done with any soldier in a similar situation."

As if politicians didn't have a hard enough time damaging their own reputations with social networking, the online indiscretions of their children are also becoming a regrettable trend. As is the issue of laying any blame, as the media obsesses over the instantaneous tweets of the young. Many will recall the controversy over 16-year-old Willow Palin and her use of gay slurs on Facebook to berate a student who was "talkin shit about my family." When some attacked Palin for her daughter's use of the word "faggot" others, such as Mediaite's Tommy Christopher pushed back saying "Willow Palin is a child, and she is not fair game." A similar theme is appearing over the discussion of Yair's comments, as commentators note his age and the timing of the Facebook post, which followed an attack on West Bank settlements in which five members of an Israeli family were stabbed to death. "He wrote it after Palestinians were shown celebrating the terror attack," writes the right-wing blog Weasel Zippers. Netanyahu's lawyer, David Shimron, has said the comments were "taken out of context" and amounted to “the cynical use of the words of a teenager.” On the other hand, Mediaite's Alex Alvarez notes that "Yair is also enlisted in the Israeli military’s media liaison unit," suggesting he should've known better.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.