Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by the Forward

Bibi Accuses Press Of Ignoring ‘Under A Rock’ Condemnation Of Neo-Nazis — Which He Never Made

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Taking a page from President Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the media for not reporting on his condemnation of racist events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

And taking another page from Trump, Netanyahu misrepresented the media’s response.

Netanyahu came under fire for his belated response to the events, which were laced with anti-Semitic themes, and for not reacting to Trump’s comments in which he equated neo-Nazis to those protesting against them.

In a Thursday interview with Israel’s right-wing leaning Channel 20 TV, Netanyahu responded, to the claim: “I said, and of course our media did not exactly cover it, that these people should crawl back under the rock they came from. I usually choose my words carefully, but that was a very harsh statement. This, of course, was not covered and led to all sorts of irrelevant interpretations.”

The reason Netanyahu’s comments weren’t covered by the media? Because he never said them publicly.

Netanyahu was apparently referring to a Facebook post of the Israeli embassy in Washington about an address Ambassador Ron Dermer gave in Arkansas on August 14. In his speech, Dermer said he had spoken earlier to the prime minister and that Netanyahu asked him to convey the message that “these people should crawl back under the rock they came from.”

Contact Nathan Guttman at or on Twitter @nathanguttman


Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Bibi Accuses Press Of Ignoring His Rebuke To Racists

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Bibi Accuses Press Of Ignoring ‘Under A Rock’ Condemnation Of Neo-Nazis — Which He Never Made

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