Netanyahu's Son Creates Facebook Controversy

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son Yair posted anti-Arab and anti-Islam remarks on his Facebook page.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair posted anti-Arab and anti-Islam remarks on his Facebook page, according to the Ha’aretz newspaper.

The comments from the teenager, who also serves in the Israeli army, were said to have been deleted once the newspaper reached out looking for comment.

The first of the remarks were posted in March after a Jewish family was killed in the occupied West Bank. Yair was alleged to have said, “Terror has a religion, and it is Islam.”

He is reported to have made other remarks going back to 2008, such as “Muslims celebrate hate and death.”

A lawyer for the family did not deny the report but called it a “ridiculous and cynical use of a teenager’s comments.” He went on to tell Reuters that Yair “expressed himself in an informal virtual forum” and that he “respects all people and is ready to live in peace in Israel with people of all identities.”

The Israeli prime minister has himself embraced social media and often uses a dedicated page in Facebook and on YouTube to get his political messages across.

It would appear that this is yet another example of a social media fail from the political arena. Social media channels, including Facebook, can be a truly effective medium for quickly sharing ideas and building engagement between politicians and constituents.

However, the platforms can just as easily turn on the user when politically incorrect or insensitive statements are made. In these cases, the situation can get inflamed pretty quickly, and generate a lot of heat for the user until the situation is diffused or flames out on its own.