The Shmooze

Bibi Gets Down With the Facebook Generation

By Nathan Burstein

  • Print
  • Share Share

He’s a leader, not a “follower.” His Twitter account says so.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has launched a coordinated charm offensive on the Internet, creating his own accounts recently on the major social networking and media sharing websites. Since August, the 60-year-old Netanyahu has started his own pages on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter, a form of public outreach he described as a boon to both democracy and Israel’s image overseas.

“Today, social media channels are more vital than ever for Israel’s public diplomacy efforts, for administrative transparency and for providing citizens with updated information,” Netanyahu said in a statement posted to his website.

Though still in their early days, the various Web pages have already attracted fans online, with more than 1,200 Facebook members indicating they “like” the prime minister’s profile. (As with his Twitter and Flickr pages, the account officially belongs the office of the prime minister, rather than to Netanyahu personally.) On Twitter, Netanyahu’s brief messages have attracted more than 600 subscribers — “followers,” in the site’s parlance — with Netanyahu yet to “follow” anyone else.

The new online accounts follow the June launch of Netanyahu’s YouTube page, which features speeches and interviews in Hebrew and English.

The prime minister’s Facebook and Twitter accounts feature posts in Arabic, as well as in Hebrew and English. Netanyahu’s inaugural post to his Facebook “Wall,” published September 5, was a message in Arabic expressing “hope that the Palestinian President Abu Mazen will continue in this way with me… to the common goal of peace, security and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

On September 7, Netanyahu posted his first YouTube Rosh Hashanah greeting, reviewing topics ranging from housing prices to foreign relations, and telling viewers in Hebrew, “I hope and believe this will be a year of new beginnings.”


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Bibi, Benjamin Netanyahu

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.