The son of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was ordered by an Israeli court on Sunday to stop harassing those leading protests against his father’s administration.
Yair Netanyahu, the prime minister’s older son and a former soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson’s unit, tweeted a document with the names, addresses and telephone numbers of protest organizers and urged his 88,000 followers to demonstrate in front of their homes.
The Jerusalem Magistrates Court instructed him to delete the tweet and refrain from harassing the petitioners in any form for the next six months. The decision added that he failed to rebuke calls for violence posted in response to his tweet.
After Sunday’s ruling, Yair strongly criticized the court’s decision. In one post, he wrote that there are separate laws for right-wingers and left-wingers, citing the petitioner Haim Shadmi who spoke about hurling firebombs at the prime minister’s residence but was still allowed to protest near the site.
Why it matters: The ruling comes amid large protests across the country, including thousands in front of the prime minister’s residence in central Jerusalem, demanding his ouster in the wake of corruption allegations and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Yair is no stranger to posting controversial social media posts. On July 27, he apologized after posting a picture of the Hindu goddess Durga with the face of Liat Ben-Ari, the lead attorney in criminal cases against his father, while her arms were raised giving the middle finger.
And more than once this year, he has attacked women on Twitter by suggesting they achieved positions through means of bribery, including Israeli journalist Dana Weiss and a supporter of Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz. He has since apologized for the remarks after Weiss and Channel 12 threatened to file a defamation lawsuit.
What’s next: Sunday’s demonstrations were among the largest in weeks of protests against the prime minister, and the twice-a-week gatherings are showing no signs of slowing.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has downplayed the gatherings, On Saturday, his Likud party issued a statement accusing Israel’s private TV stations of providing “free and endless publicity” to the protesters and exaggerating their importance.
His corruption trial was delayed earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last month, a Jerusalem court decided to resume the trial in January with evidentiary hearings.
Know more: Al-Monitor’s Israel Pulse Correspondent Rina Bassist examines the prime minister’s condemnation of violence against anti-government demonstrators while opposing threats against him and his family.