While traditional journalists continued to fume Tuesday over the national unity
government arranged between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and newly elected
Kadima party leader Shaul Mofaz without their knowledge or input, citizen
journalists and social media aficionados lapped up the political drama with
creative online commentary.
Not to mention that Deputy Knesset Speaker
Carmel Shama-Hacohen (Likud) leaked information about the deal on his Facebook
page at about 2 a.m. Tuesday morning.
“At 2 in the morning, suddenly the
Likud Central Committee meeting is starting to get interesting….” he
Shortly afterward, Shama-Hacohen added that a “national unity
coalition would make this government’s term stable.”
clamored to reprint their front pages and broadcasters scrambled to make sense
of the new political bedfellows and their future implications, citizens
journalists and other new media addicts used social networking sites to made
light of the events and provide commentary on its central
Almost immediately on Tuesday, Hebrew Facebook group Status
Chatter, which spotlights interesting status updates, reposted a March 3
Facebook update by Mofaz, which stated he would never join the current
His words and tone conveyed his opposition to joining forces
with Netanyahu – “not today, not tomorrow.” This made the response to his
political U-turn even more quizzical.
A short while later, musician Noy Aloosh – who has become revered worldwide for his political
commentary delivered via controversial remixes of well-known songs laced with
speeches from political leaders – posted his latest: “Shaul Mofaz Hit: He’s a
Interspersed with a Black Eyed Peas track and other snippets from
politicians condemning lies and corruption in the Knesset, the viral clip did
not bode well for Israel’s newest cabinet member even though it received a lot
Israelis also showed their sense of humor in dealing with the
turmoil by posting a series of cleverly Photoshopped images commenting on the
new political arrangement. One was a take on an advertisement for a comfortable
black leather office chair: “An unprecedented sale for members of the Kadima
party: Minister’s chair. An orthopedic chair made of elephant skin, particularly
suitable for the spineless.”
Others who bore the brunt of online
wisecracks also included journalist-turned- politician Yair Lapid, who recently
formed his own Yesh Atid party and was gearing up for political success – had
there been an election in September. His well-known face was skewered in a
headshot, which was accompanied by a cartoon bubble caption reading: “What? B…
bu… but… I am already….”
As the public mocking continued throughout the
day, some politicians used social media networks to get their messages across to
as many people as possible.
Following the Netanyahu-Mofaz press
conference in the Knesset, Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich – who has more than
22,000 “likes” on her Facebook page – described it on her page as a “coalition
of cowards.” Throughout the day, she used Facebook to reaffirm her intention to
fight against the two ruling parties with gusto.
Lapid also took the
opportunity to condemn the deal as a negative and old-fashioned political
Meanwhile, both Netanyahu and Mofaz took the opportunity to
promote their new-found partnership on Facebook. Mofaz, who is still learning the
ropes of social media etiquette, posted a press release-type comment stating
that the coalition will stabilize the country.
Netanyahu, meanwhile, is
apparently a big fan of social media networks and most recently got involved
with the pictorial network Instagram. He posted a photograph of himself and his
new friend Mofaz on both Facebook and his Instagram stream.