Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with humor to snide critics on Thursday, when he took to Twitter to provide live answers to followers’ questions — in Hebrew, Arabic and English — which ranged from serious to silly, and loving to hostile.
With the hashtag #AskNetanyahu, the prime minister conducted a “special Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day) Q&A.” “Ever wanted to ask me a question? Now’s your chance!” the Israeli leader tweeted.
The first respondent, named Salman Khalid, was snide. “Are you human?” he asked. Netanyahu replied with humor — in binary code: “01111001 01100101 01110011.”
Another Twitter user, Gregg Carlstrom, wanted to know: “Do you worry that your Foreign Minister isn’t fully committed to his job? We don’t hear much from him on diplomatic strategy.”
In a tongue-in-cheek manner, Netanyahu referred to the fact that he himself has been serving in that role. “I speak to the foreign minister every day. We see eye to eye on everything,” he wrote.
An Israeli user, Zohar Alon, asked whether the prime minister is “doing enough to bring about peace and put an end to war.” Netanyahu responded first in Hebrew and then in English – giving slightly different versions in each language.
In Hebrew, he said, “Yes. There is nothing I want more, and act towards it in many ways you are not aware of, but perhaps you will hear about them later.” In English: “Nobody wants peace more than me or Israel. I’ve lost a brother; I’ve been wounded in battle; I’ve lost many dear friends. We’ll never give up on the quest for peace.”
Asked by Jeff Addison, “What is is the greatest threat to Israel’s security right now and what do you foresee as future threats?” Netanyahu wrote, “The rise of radical Islam, led by Iran and ISIS, is the greatest threat to Israel and the civilized world.”
Someone named Chuck Stutsman said he “had the joy” of visiting Israel last year, and wanted to know if it’s still safe to do so.
“Absolutely,” answered Netanyahu. “Hope to see you here soon again.”
Suraya Dadoo ridiculed the PM, asking him if he’d “fired the person who came up with this #AskNetanyahu idea.”
“Nope,” Netanyahu answered. “Actually, I’m going to give him – it’s a her — a treat. You want to see her? Here she is.” At this point, he pans the camera to focus on his dog, Kaiya.
Sara A. Carter asked: “What is the most important question you have for the potential US presidential candidates?”
Netanyahu answered, “Thanks, but no thanks. I have more than enough politics at home :)”
On a different topic, Mike Wagner asked, “Mr. PM, how accurate is our USA media coverage of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict?” “Can always improve,” said Netanyahu. “Why not come here and see Israel for yourself?”
And there was this, from E.S. Martinez: “Do you think Jews have a moral responsibility of being the ‘Chosen People’? Or were chosen for what? just to feel grandiose?” Netanyahu replied, “All people are created equal. Jewish culture stresses improving the world. Israel’s doing it in tech, health & more.”
On a more somber note, Daniel Wickham challenged, “Why has Israel killed more than 2,000 Palestinian children since 2000?” “Every child’s death is a tragedy,” said Netanyahu. “Sadly, Palestinian terrorists hide behind children and fire rockets from schools.”
To add a distinctly Independence Day flavor to the Twitter session, when asked by Ohad Moser the question, “Blue and black or white and gold?” – in reference to the famous dress whose color scheme sparked international debate – Netanyahu announced: “Blue and white, of course! The colors of the dress were clearly blue and white. Like my pen. Like my tie. Like our flag.”
By: Ruthie Blum, The Algemeiner
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