Netanyahu Distances Himself From Son's Tweet on Protesters

Yair Netanyahu wrote 'I hope the elderly who die following this protest will only be from your camp'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2020 9:00 AM CDT
Netanyahu Son Hopes Virus Death Comes Only to Protesters
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, second from left; his wife, Sara; son Yair, left; and Russian President Vladimir Putin pose during a meeting in Tel-Aviv, Israel, on Jan. 23, 2020.   (Aleksey Nikolskyi, Sputnik Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Thousands of people took to the streets of Tel Aviv Thursday to demonstrate against Benjamin Netanyahu, with claims that he's steeped in corruption and undermining democracy amid the coronavirus pandemic. None other than the prime minister's son ended up stoking controversy over the protests. The Times of Israel reports that "arch-conservative" Yair Netanyahu, 28, who's known to get people riled up on social media, apparently didn't like the public outcry against his father, which the paper says was held in a "socially distanced" manner. Nitzan Horowitz, who heads up the far-left Meretz party, was in attendance, and he tweeted out a photo of himself at the protest wearing a face mask, per Haaretz. "A very strong demonstration now in the stage square," he wrote. "Fight corruption Struggling for democracy."

The younger Netanyahu responded. "I hope the elderly who die following this protest will only be from your camp," he wrote in a now-deleted tweet. He added: "So statistically, there is a good chance that the left-wing protesters tonight caused the future deaths of elderly people. I prefer them not to be ours." Although there are strict lockdown rules in place due to the virus, protests are still permitted, and both the right and the left have been holding them. In what the Forward calls "an unusual move," the prime minister's office issued a statement shaking its head at Yair Netanyahu's comments. "The prime minister absolutely rejects these remarks," the statement read. "The fight against the coronavirus has no camps and must not have them." (More Yair Netanyahu stories.)

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