#AskNetanyahu

Banner depicting Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, ready to field questions on the occasion of Israel's so-called Independence Day. (10 May, Twitter)

To mark the May 15 national holiday which Israel considers to be its Independence Day, the Israeli government launched #AskNetanyahu, a Twitter campaign offering a live Q&A with the country’s prime minister. The hashtag immediately took off, and for the two days preceding the 12 May event, an avalanche of tweets made it the most trending topic on Twitter in the country.

Many social media users offered scalding criticism and others sarcasm, deriding Netanyahu’s past comments and the #AskNetanyahu session. Drawing unfavorable comparisons to the half-baked #AskHamas campaign in March 2015 (see Palestine Unbound in JPS 44 [4]), some wanted to know what made the Israeli government think that the #AskNetanyahu campaign wouldn’t backfire as badly. Others asked Netanyahu about alleged war crimes and the Israeli occupation. Undaunted, or perhaps calculating that bad publicity is
better than no publicity, Netanyahu forged ahead with the campaign on 12 May.

A tweet mocking Netanyahu's recent claim that the mufti of Jerusalem convinced Hitler to commit genocide (see JPS 45[2]). (10 May, Twitter)
A tweet mocking Netanyahu’s recent claim that the mufti of Jerusalem convinced Hitler to commit genocide (see JPS 45[2]). (10 May, Twitter)
Another tweet wryly criticizing the Israeli occupation. (10 May, Twitter)
Another tweet wryly criticizing the Israeli occupation. (10 May, Twitter)
A tweet comparing Netanyahu to fictional villains. (10 May, Twitter)
A tweet comparing Netanyahu to fictional villains. (10 May, Twitter)

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