Yair Netanyahu Accuses Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel of Trying to 'Destroy the Jewish State'

The Twitter battle tracks back to Martin Indyk defending a report that Netanyahu frantically called Trump to try and stop him from meeting with Iran's foreign minister

Martin Indyk responds to Yair Netanyahu on Twitter, August 30, 2019
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Yair Netanyahu, the son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk engaged in a snarky game of one-upmanship on Twitter over the weekend, culminating in a charge by Netanyahu's son that the former diplomat sought to “destroy the Jewish state.”

The sniping began after Indyk posted a news story by Channel 13 (and former Haaretz) journalist Barak Ravid, reporting that Netanyahu had “frantically” called President Donald Trump trying to head off any initiative that could result in a meeting between the U.S. leader and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif.

Read more: Netanyahu plays good cop, bad cop in two very different campaign ads

Indyk, who returned to the world of think tanks after serving in various senior diplomatic and advisory roles in the Clinton administration, commented “I’ve been on the other end of those phone calls many times from desperate Bibi aides insisting that he has to speak to the President or SecState IMMEDIATELY. When he’s in panic mode the fact that the President is in meetings with other world leaders is irrelevant.” The fact that Trump wouldn’t take Netanyahu’s call “tells you something about his priorities,” he added.

The younger Netanyahu shot back at Indyk, who is Jewish: ”Wow. The prime minister of Israel insisted to talk to president Clinton as equal and see himself as a world leader and not as a ghetto Jew or as a court jew. I know it’s hard for you to see a proud Jew. You guys are used to Epstein type (sic).” The last comment was a swipe at the connection between the late Jeffrey Epstein and President Bill Clinton. 

In a second exchange, it was Indyk who provoked Yair Netanyahu after the Prime Minister’s son posted: “I know for a fact that Barak Ravid is boycotted in the American administration for his lies and fake news. Nobody there talk to him. Not even the person that makes the coffee in the White House. Fake news!”

Indyk jabbed back: “Hi everyone. I know for a fact that Barak Ravid has excellent sources in the Trump Administration. Many people talk to him and his Axios colleagues. Including the people who make coffee. Fake news indeed!”

Yair’s response? “Hi Martin thank god you have connections in this administration and this WH like I did at the obama’s (aka none). So sorry that your endeavor to destroy the Jewish state in the 90s didn’t succeed. Try next time.” 

Indyk clearly chose not to take the charge of seeking Israel’s destruction too seriously - reposting the accusation with the response “Lol.” 

In 2016, Indyk claimed that during the funeral for Israel's slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Netanyahu had expressed to him disappointment at the assassination, lamenting that the murder would turn Rabin into a national hero. "I remember Netanyahu saying to me: 'Look, look at this. He’s a hero now, but if he had not been assassinated, I would have beaten him in the elections, and then he would have gone into history as a failed politician," Indyk recalled in an interview to PBS. Netanyahu was the opposition leader at the time. His office denied Indyk's account of the exchange, saying it "never happened."