Israeli Man Convicted of Threatening Netanyahu and His Son

Be’er Sheva resident, whose lawyer says has right-wing views, tweeted: ‘Does anyone know about plans to assassinate the prime minister?’

Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a visit to Ben-Gurion International Airport on November 9, 2020.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a visit to Ben-Gurion International Airport on November 9, 2020.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Almog Ben Zikri
Almog Ben Zikri

The Ashdod Magistrate’s Court on Monday found a 39-year-old Be’er Sheva resident, Asher Ben-David, guilty of threatening Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his son Yair in tweets that he posted.

The conviction in the case, which was heard by Magistrate’s Court Judge Liat Shamir Heersh, came as part of a plea bargain. Police prosecutors plan to seek a prison sentence for Ben-David, due to a domestic violence conviction last year in which he was placed on probation.

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According to the indictment against Ben-David in the current case, on June 25 he tweeted, “Does anyone know about plans to assassinate the prime minister? Anyone familiar? … It seems to me that the time has come.” Two days later he directed a tweet at Yair Netanyahu in which he used a Hebrew expression implying “your day will come,” and added, “You stressed? ... What happened. Is the house shaking? The walls are thin. We hear your heart pounding.”

The indictment states that the comments were posted to frighten and taunt Yair Netanyahu. In the plea agreement, the two sides agreed to have Ben-David admit to one threat rather than the two in the indictment, and that the allegation that the defendant threatened to do physical harm to the prime minister’s son be dropped. Judge Shamir-Heersh referred Ben-David for evaluation by the probation department prior to sentencing.

“Mr. Ben-David understands the magnitude of his mistake and wishes to apologize for his remarks,” his lawyer, Daniel Haklay, said. “Mr. Ben-David is actually right-wing in his political views, but due to his economic distress and his belief that the prime minister is pursuing cruel economic policies, he felt massive anger. Obviously, such anger should never be expressed through threats.”

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