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May 12, 2016 3:20 pm

Netanyahu Live Tweets With Followers for Israel’s Independence Day; Uses Humor to Deflect Snide Remarks

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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The Twitter invitation to ask Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a question. Photo: Twitter.

The Twitter invitation to ask Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a question. Photo: Twitter.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with humor to snide critics on Thursday, when he took to Twitter to provide live answers to followers’ questions — in Hebrew, Arabic and English — which ranged from serious to silly, and loving to hostile.

With the hashtag #AskNetanyahu, the prime minister conducted a “special Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day) Q&A.” “Ever wanted to ask me a question? Now’s your chance!” the Israeli leader tweeted.

The first respondent, named Salman Khalid, was snide. “Are you human?” he asked. Netanyahu replied with humor — in binary code: “01111001 01100101 01110011.”

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Another Twitter user, Gregg Carlstrom, wanted to know: “Do you worry that your Foreign Minister isn’t fully committed to his job? We don’t hear much from him on diplomatic strategy.”

In a tongue-in-cheek manner, Netanyahu referred to the fact that he himself has been serving in that role. “I speak to the foreign minister every day. We see eye to eye on everything,” he wrote.

An Israeli user, Zohar Alon, asked whether the prime minister is “doing enough to bring about peace and put an end to war.” Netanyahu responded first in Hebrew and then in English – giving slightly different versions in each language.

In Hebrew, he said, “Yes. There is nothing I want more, and act towards it in many ways you are not aware of, but perhaps you will hear about them later.” In English: “Nobody wants peace more than me or Israel. I’ve lost a brother; I’ve been wounded in battle; I’ve lost many dear friends. We’ll never give up on the quest for peace.”

Asked by Jeff Addison, “What is is the greatest threat to Israel’s security right now and what do you foresee as future threats?” Netanyahu wrote, “The rise of radical Islam, led by Iran and ISIS, is the greatest threat to Israel and the civilized world.”

Someone named Chuck Stutsman said he “had the joy” of visiting Israel last year, and wanted to know if it’s still safe to do so.

“Absolutely,” answered Netanyahu. “Hope to see you here soon again.”

Suraya Dadoo ridiculed the PM, asking him if he’d “fired the person who came up with this #AskNetanyahu idea.”

“Nope,” Netanyahu answered. “Actually, I’m going to give him – it’s a her — a treat. You want to see her? Here she is.” At this point, he pans the camera to focus on his dog, Kaiya.

Sara A. Carter asked: “What is the most important question you have for the potential US presidential candidates?”

Netanyahu answered, “Thanks, but no thanks. I have more than enough politics at home :)”

On a different topic, Mike Wagner asked, “Mr. PM, how accurate is our USA media coverage of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict?” “Can always improve,” said Netanyahu. “Why not come here and see Israel for yourself?”

And there was this, from E.S. Martinez: “Do you think Jews have a moral responsibility of being the ‘Chosen People’? Or were chosen for what? just to feel grandiose?” Netanyahu replied, “All people are created equal. Jewish culture stresses improving the world. Israel’s doing it in tech, health & more.” On a more somber note, Daniel Wickham challenged, “Why has Israel killed more than 2,000 Palestinian children since 2000?” “Every child’s death is a tragedy,” said Netanyahu. “Sadly, Palestinian terrorists hide behind children and fire rockets from schools.” To add a distinctly Independence Day flavor to the Twitter session, when asked by Ohad Moser the question, “Blue and black or white and gold?” – in reference to the famous dress whose color scheme sparked international debate – Netanyahu announced: “Blue and white, of course! The colors of the dress were clearly blue and white. Like my pen. Like my tie. Like our flag.”  

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  • Linda

    Bravo BB!

  • dear algemeiner
    I WENT THOUGH THE PAGE ABOVE
    BUT
    BEING IN INDIA I CAN NOT TELL MUCH SINCE THE CONDITIONS OR SAY SITUATIONS ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT.
    ANYWAYS NICE WORK BY PRIME MINISTER
    BEING TRANSPARENT IN AN INNOVATIVE WAY IS SOMETHING WAS ISRAEL PM

  • Bernard

    So charmful man and so proud Mr Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.
    I wish the most politicians in Europe could teach from this man.

  • Robert Davis

    Netanyahu is good at futile talk including about “peace” which is futile considering what Israel’s enemies have in mind when using this word but real peace cannot be obtained in present political conditions and I’m sure he knows it. What I hardly understand is why he does not muster the courage to change present conditions by exppelling those fakestinians so neighboring States can take Israel seriously and stop considering Israel a puppet “int’l pressures” can help destroy.

  • nat cheiman

    Clever man answers idiotic questions by some idiotic people.

  • Markus Elkana Brajtman

    Thabk Hashem that Israel has Netanyahu as PM>
    He is the best PM EVER>

    The USA president should learn from Netanyahu.
    Maybe then, there would be a better world,
    But while Obama is POTUS, the world has become more dangerous Hopefully, the witch Hillary will be told to go home, not the White House
    Her past record re Israel has been a disaster.

  • Dear Algemeiner,
    in praising, but even more so in criticising politicians in Mr. Netanyahu’s position, we sometimes forget that it is so easy to make mistakes when all political odds are against you. His answers sound honest and throw a different light on a man who is in the focus of, more often than not, unfriendly attention. Thanks, Kaiya, not a bad idea! 🙂
    Thomas Gatter

  • Lia

    Mr Netanyahu is a marvellous person – a sense of humour is a huge asset.

  • JarredS

    Bibi is Brilliant…He puts foreign leaders like Hussein Obama and Kerry to Shame….

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    Which other world leader would have the moxie to appear on Twitter in real time and engage questions from the public worldwide? I send kudos to Kaiya for such a brilliant thought! You see, women are definitely able to voice their opinions which are truly listened to and most often are taken with respectful gravity in the democratic nation named Israel!

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