PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
A post that falsely accuses Israeli-Arab soccer fans of jeering during a moment of silence for 10 teens who were killed in a flash flood was quietly removed from the prime minister’s Facebook page Thursday.
Netanyahu responded to a story in the media about jeers in the Israeli-Arab city of Sakhnin with the post: “This is a disgrace. I expect all public leaders, Jews and non-Jews alike, to denounce this shameful behavior.”
On Wednesday, Channel 2 News published a video from the moment of silence in the Doha Stadium, in which it seemed as if no jeers were uttered and the solemn nature of the moment was adhered to.
In light of the report, Bnei Sakhnin chairman Mohammed Abu Yunes wrote to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to remove the post and apologize for the harm caused to the team and to the families of the teenagers.
Netanyahu has yet to publicly respond to that call, which was echoed on Thursday by left-wing politicians.
Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi condemned Netanyahu’s “cowardice.”
“Shh.. quietly, quietly, so that no one will pay attention to the cowardice,” Tibi wrote on Twitter. “An apology? Some soul searching?”
Aymen Odeh, leader of the Joint List said an apology is needed. “It is unwise to incite loudly and then quietly cave and erase.”
Netanyahu can’t afford to be a populist, Odeh added.
“The lies he spreads can turn into violence at any moment,” he said. “Netanyahu has forgotten that he represents the entire population. This is the most racist, right-wing government that Israel has ever seen. Twenty percent of the population suffers from racism that trickles down directly from the government’s top echelon.”
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