In Facebook Video, Netanyahu Falsely Accuses Israeli Media of Ignoring Visit by Japan's Abe

'Did you hear anything about it in the media?' Netanyahu asks, despite the fact that most Israeli outlets – including Haaretz – reported on the meeting

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe pose for a photo at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on May 2, 2018.
ABIR SULTAN/AFP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked the Israeli media in a Facebook post Friday, accusing it of failing to report on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Israel this week.

“This week the Prime Minister of Japan, my friend Shinzo Abe, who heads the third largest economy in the world, visited Israel. Did you hear anything about it in the press?” Netanyahu said in a video posted on his official Facebook page. 

Yet most of the media outlets in Israel, including Haaretz, covered the visit – even though the meeting between Abe and Netanyahu was limited to only three outlets and no time was given for the two leaders to answer questions from reporters.

Itamar Eichner from the daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, who heads the group of Israeli diplomatic correspondents, tweeted in response: “Prime minister, maybe you should stop with the fake news? Not only did you not open your meeting with the prime minister of Japan to journalists (except for the media pool) and questions, the press actually reported on his visit. So maybe it’s worth deleting this post like you deleted the post on Sakhnin.”

On Thursday, Netanyahu removed a Facebook post about the Israeli Arab Bnei Sakhnin soccer team, in which he had claimed the team’s fans did not show respect during the minute of silence before a game honoring the 10 students of a pre-military academy who died in flash floods last week. Netanyahu removed the post five days after he put it up.  

Netanyahu based his post on a story on the Arutz Sheva news website, but an inquiry found that the accusation was baseless and that the team’s fans had neither whistled nor booed during the moment of silence.