'It's Fun, I Enjoy It': Netanyahu on Attacking Journalists on Social Media

Asked whether confronting Israeli journalists on Facebook is the best way of engaging with criticism, Netanyahu responds that it's 'almost entertaining.'

Netanyahu on lashing out at journalists: 'It's almost entertaining'
Ronen Zvulun, Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quipped on Tuesday night that he enjoys sparring with Israel journalists on social media, calling it "fun."

Asked at a conference for foreign correspondents why he confronts local media outlets and journalists on Facebook, and whether he thinks it's the best way of engaging with criticism, Netanyahu responded: "I don't know, it's almost entertaining."

Garnering laughs from the audience, the prime minister went on to add, "It's fun, I enjoy it."

Netanyahu has recently come out against local journalists on his Facebook page, following what he claims are unwarranted attacks on him and his family.

The first of the harsh responses was in reaction to an investigative report by Haaretz regarding Netanyahu’s relations with the country's media sector. In an apparent reference to the German media group Dumont Schauberg, which owns a minority stake in Haaretz, Netanyahu’s associates responded by saying that “we hope that the owners of Haaretz, who in the past disseminated Nazi propaganda, are not connected to the lies and slanders directed at Netanyahu.”

He has also denounced journalist Raviv Drucker's reporting on two investigative stories – one exposing the role of Netanyahu's attorney in brokering a German submarine sale to Israel and another reporting on favors  that Netanyahu’s son, Yair, took from Australian billionaire James Packer.

Before that, Netanyahu personally attacked leading journalist Ilana Dayan and claimed that she was leading an assault aimed at toppling his right-wing government.

The prime minister also recently took Channel 10 to task on its own Facebook page, after the TV channel had refused to air Netanyahu's scathing response to stories it aired about his son.