Opinion |

Don't Dismiss Yair Netanyahu's Shocking Tweets: He's Calling Leftists' Shots

Rogel Alpher
Rogel Alpher
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Yair Netanyahu, son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, December 10, 2018.
Yair Netanyahu, in 2018. Whether by design or not, his enhanced online activity since the election has served his father as a lighting rod. Credit: Moti Milrod
Rogel Alpher
Rogel Alpher

It would be best to adopt a more suspicious attitude toward the Twitter user known as “Yair Netanyahu.” I don’t know to what extent the real Yair Netanyahu, son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is responsible for all the tweets and responses showing up under that profile. A quick look at some of these reveals that there are stylistic differences between them. Along with the “classic” Yair Netanyahu – unbridled, inarticulate and sloppy, with typos and poor syntax – there occasionally seems to be another writer: restrained and eloquent, meticulous in terms of proper language usage and punctuation.

Whether this is one person expressing different sides of his personality or a hive of responders acting as a single user (even if the hours of operation overlap with the waking hours of the person signing the messages), it should be clear that the strategic objective of this Twitter account is not just to let off steam and annoy leftists just because he hates them – or just because they’re there.

Netanyahu, Jr. has greatly intensified his activity in recent months, becoming an online star. He displays impressive skills in baiting leftists on his feed, most of which is swallowed whole almost involuntarily and responded to accordingly; the commenters totally lose it, become shocked and enraged. He pushes all their buttons, manipulating them as if they were marionettes, and they dance to his tune.

Calling him a troll or a provocateur would be to underestimate him. He has a deep understanding of leftist psychology and dogmatism, and the degree of control he has over the horrified bunch of leftists that he’s gathered around himself allows him to set their agenda.

One should relate to Netanyahu’s Twitter show as a matter of tactics. The strategy is to divert leftists’ attention away from the important developments in the country. And it should be noted that leftists’ attention can be distracted quite easily. Give them a Eurovision Song Contest, throw them a season finale of the "Game of Thrones," and they’ll entertain themselves to death. Add some off-key Madonna and all their priorities are turned upside down, with fateful issues relegated to the sidelines.

In order to ensure that these individuals are truly preoccupied by trivial nonsense, leaving no time or energy to act against Netanyahu, Sr.’s laws or the creeping annexation in the territories – son Yair drives a last nail in their coffin. Whether by design or as a side-effect, his enhanced online activity since the election has served his father as a lighting rod. This is an effective diversion, quite transparent, in fact.

As soon as Yair waves his red cape, the leftist crowd goes berserk and their minds go foggy. They hold long conversations with him on Twitter, carrying on hopeful dialogues and hoping to find a rational common denominator with him. It’s all in vain, of course. His main goal is to keep them busy while his father steals the country.

What point do leftists see in their correspondence and squabbling with Yair Netanyahu on Twitter? Who knows. It’s obvious that he has no intention of holding a dialogue with them in good faith. He only wants to drive them nuts. And they react accordingly. In their illogical way they adore him. The proof is in their fervent following of his every tweet, their emotional engagement with the content he disseminates only for their benefit, their reactions and their discussions.

The leftists are in turmoil. They are his audience. The rightists vote for his dad, but the leftists follow Yair Netanyahu. A masochistic bunch that he humiliates, while their country goes up in flames around them.

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