Yair Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister’s son, who has posted on Facebook that he would prefer if all Muslims left Israel, is scheduled to speak at an unannounced, closed event for “young leaders” at the ongoing AIPAC conference in Washington, Haaretz reported.
AIPAC told Haaretz that the event is informal. It is not listed on any public schedule. Forward staff currently attending the AIPAC conference have been unable to find the meeting. It’s unclear whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to call off his own address to AIPAC and return to Israel following a Hamas rocket attack that destroyed a home and injured seven Israelis will impact plans for Yair Netanyahu’s appearance.
Yet regardless of whether or not the event happens, AIPAC’s invitation to Yair Netanyahu is notable. Israeli observers say that Benjamin Netanyahu, who has enjoyed close ties with AIPAC leadership for decades, is setting up his son as a sort of political heir. Yet Yair Netanyahu has been the subject of a long list of scandals, much of it connected to the far-right rhetoric he routinely uses on social media.
Facebook temporarily blocked Yair Netanyahu’s account in December, after he reposted items that Facebook had earlier deleted, including one post in which he said he would prefer it if all Muslims left Israel.
He has called left-wing groups “traitors,” and in 2017 posted an anti-Semitic meme about George Soros.
And in January of 2018, Israeli television aired an audio recording of Yair Netanyahu in which he and friends discussed strip clubs, billion dollar gas deals, and money for a prostitute.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.
Yair Netanyahu Scheduled To Speak At Closed AIPAC Event