Thursday, September 23rd | 17 Tishri 5782

June 16, 2020 3:24 pm

‘Rabble-Rouser’ Yair Netanyahu’s ‘Racist’ Obama Tweet Slammed by US Jewish Leader Abe Foxman

avatar by Ben Cohen

Yair Netanyahu addresses a pro-Israel Evangelical audience in Alabama in July 2019. Photo: Screenshot.

Yair Netanyahu — the 28-year-old son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — was upbraided on Tuesday by a senior American Jewish leader for his tweet promoting the discredited conspiracy theory that former US President Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

“One is tempted to ignore the racist rants of a young rabble-rouser, but this is too serious, especially at this time,” Abraham Foxman — the National Director Emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) — told The Algemeiner, when asked for his reaction to the younger Netanyahu’s earlier posting on Twitter.

On Tuesday morning, Netanyahu shared a post by Malik Obama — the estranged half-brother of the ex-president who lives in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi — showing a fabricated birth certificate purportedly belonging to Barack Obama.

The fake certificate has been doing the rounds of social media since at least 2009 and contains several obvious clues as to its false nature. For example, it lists the country of birth as the “Republic of Kenya” in the year 1961 — but Kenya did not become a republic until 1964. Additionally, some versions of the certificate shared by supporters of the so-called “birther” movement have carried the birth registration number 47O44; Obama was 47 when he became the 44th president of the United States.

“Yair Netanyahu may think he’s speaking out as an individual, but the world looks at his family name and sees him as a representative of the State of Israel, or at least as acting on the behest of his father,” Foxman said.

Added Foxman: “The son of the prime minister of Israel believes that he can sound off without any regard for, in this case, the feelings and sensitivities of American Jews. He tweets a discredited, offensive and racist meme about President Obama at a time of major upheaval here. He should delete it and apologize.”

Yair Netanyahu’s social media activity has regularly courted controversy. Currently without a job and living at his parents’ official residence in Jerusalem, Netanyahu had been working for the Israeli legal NGO Shurat HaDin when he was suspended in March 2019 for a Twitter post deriding Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s commitment to the rights of Arab citizens of Israel.

In Dec. 2018, he was briefly suspended from Facebook after posting that peace in the region would not come until “all the Jews” or “all the Muslims” departed from Israel.

“I prefer the second option,” he wrote.

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