Yair Netanyahu says he receives daily death threats, will not enter politics

Midway through a NY event with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, members of Code Pink, a social justice movement in support of Palestinian statehood, broke out in screams and chants, making accusations at Yair.

Yair Netanyahu in an event with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in New York (photo credit: HALEY COHEN)
Yair Netanyahu in an event with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in New York
(photo credit: HALEY COHEN)
Protesters disrupted a public appearance in New York City by Yair Netanyahu, who said that he receives death threats on a daily basis and that he will not be entering politics.
The 27-year-old son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was speaking on Wednesday night with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach at the World Values Network Headquarters. A few dozen people attended the event.
During the on-stage interview with Boteach, Netanyahu said that he receives “death threats and blood libel to me and my family every day” on his social media pages, about which he says the media “doesn’t report and doesn’t care.” But he said he is grateful to Twitter for giving him a place to “respond directly to the injustice of journalists, even though they don’t respond usually.”
Netanyahu said that his own path will not involve entering the political arena. “I’m a political person, but I think there are many different kinds of ways that you can be influential without being a politician,” he said.
Midway through his talk, members of Code Pink – a social justice movement in support of Palestinian statehood – broke out in screams and chants, including calling him a “neo-Nazi.” As police escorted the demonstrators out, Boteach said he was “astonished” and “disgusted” by the protest, and apologized to Netanyahu for the disruption.
“I’ve seen worse,” Netanyahu said with a laugh.
While he is viewed in Israel as playing a key role in setting the tone of his father’s election campaigns, Netanyahu said that he is not his father’s proxy, and that the two don’t always see eye-to-eye about politics, which they mostly avoid discussing with each other.
“But just like every Israeli family, it comes up at our Shabbat dinners,” he said.
Netanyahu said it was “a privilege to be the son of such a warrior for the Jewish people. But it was also very hard, mostly because of the media. From the time I was a boy I saw my father being attacked by the media constantly. It started when I was five and it has been nasty ever since. I had no way to defend myself in school from older children commenting on what they heard in the news.”
Netanyahu told the crowd that President Donald Trump was the “best friend” Israel has ever had in the White House.
“Many other presidents promised to move the embassy and didn’t do it,” Netanyahu said. “He did. He pulled us out of the disastrous Iran deal. He recognized the Golan Heights.”
Netanyahu also spoke of the BDS campaign.
“It’s an antisemitic movement, of course,” said Netanyahu. “Why aren’t they calling for boycotts of Turkey or North Korea? It doesn’t matter the damage that it does. It matters that antisemitism is normalized. We have people who fight against it, but also American Jews who are leading it. It’s sad, but not surprising, how many American Jews are self-hating Jews. It’s nothing new.”
The younger Netanyahu has been participating in a number of public speaking events in recent months, and is said to be trying to present himself as a sought-after pro-Israel speaker.
“I chose Yair for this event because he is one of the most influential young influencers in Israel. I’ve asked him to inspire and address the New York Jewish community and beyond, as my friend,”
Boteach later said. “He is bold, outspoken and doesn’t pull his punches. Whether you agree with him or disagree with him, no one can accuse Yair of not speaking his mind.”