Facebook Profile That Threatened Netanyahu Run by Israeli Living Abroad, Police Say

Last week, Netanyahu filed a police report against the profile of 'Dana Ron,' which Facebook and the police's cybercrimes unit said was fictitious

Josh Breiner
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A protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which the premier accuses of incitement against him, in Tel Aviv, August 1, 2020.
A protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which the premier accuses of incitement against him, in Tel Aviv, August 1, 2020.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Josh Breiner

The Israel Police announced Tuesday night that the person behind the "Dana Ron" Facebook profile, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reported to police for threats on his life, is operated by an Israeli woman who has been living abroad for years.

Last week, Netanyahu filed report against the Facebook profile after one of its posts, uploaded  said "We need to remove Bibi by force alone…Dictators move only from a bullet in the head!"

Following the police's announcement, Netanyahu tweeted that he "thanks the Israel Police on its location of the user that incited against me on Facebook and hope that justice will find her."

Incitement to murder is out of bounds, he wrote, adding "I don't even expect an apology from the media, which claimed that this is a 'bot' that I ran, but I do expect that the leaders of the left [Yair] Lapid and [Ayman] Odeh will condemn this terrible incitement."

After Netanyahu filed his report, the police's cybercrimes unit opened an investigation on suspicion of violent incitement. Last week, Facebook announced that the account is fake, and removed the profile from the website.

The account, which carried a common Hebrew name, was deemed fake following “an inspection by our global teams abroad,” Facebook said in a statement. The company added that “the comment itself violates our policy on violence, and therefore was removed too.”

Netanyahu aides responded to Facebook’s statement, arguing that “If it is indeed an anonymous account operated by people who are calling for murder of the prime minister, then it is just as severe. Police must track them down, bring them to justice and act with determination against the dozens of posts published daily that incite and threaten the prime minister and his family.”

They also said the media was “shameful” for “concealing incitement, instead of unequivocally condemning it.”

Social activist Yossi Dorfman said earlier that he decided to examine the profile after it “seemed too generic” to him. In a Twitter thread, Dorfman revealed that the account’s URL shows a different, “even more generic” name, Dana Levi.

“These sort of fake profiles are called avatars, and they’re used to distort reality,” Dorfman said. According to Dorfman, the profile first became active on March 6, shortly after Israel’s latest election cycle. It also interacted with other seemingly fake profiles.

In recent months, Netanyahu has filed numerous complaints with the police over threats and incitement to violence against him and his family on social media. 

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