Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support -- click here to help us keep going

Analysis News

Labor: Netanyahu's many Facebook fans are not from Israel

Earlier this morning, the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted this uncharacteristically laconic message:

The smug announcement was further drilled home by a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office, which gushed at the prime minister surpassing the 200,000 “likes” bar, noted opponents trail “far behind” and crowned the prime minister’s Facebook page as an instrument “linking the people and the leader.” The website of Labor leader Shelly Yachimovich (with a self-confessedly humble 20,000 plus ‘”likes”) quickly shot back with the following observation from the head of its Internet volunteer teams, Amichai Saragovi:

Some time ago us in the Internet team began talking about how something in Netanyahu’s growing Facebook clout doesn’t make sense, especially in a country as small as Israel. A quick search via Facebook [through the advertisement feature - D.R.] three weeks ago found, much to our astonishment, that only 17 percent of Netanyahu’s Facebook fans are Israeli. 52 percent hail from the United States, and, most amusingly, some 3 percent, approximately 5,000 Bibi fans (more than his fans in the United Kingdom, France, Canada and Mexico combined) come from Indonesia. Indonesia, as it is commonly known, is the largest Muslim country in the world, with which we have no diplomatic relations, and I somehow find it difficult to believe the objectively joyous news that our prime minister has been capturing Indonesian hearts and minds… by comparison, some 90 percent of Shelly’s 20,400 fans are Israeli, with the remaining ten percent spread across different countries, a pattern common for such fan pages.

Saragovi then takes the gloves off and proceeds to accuse Netanyahu of deliberately misleading the public.

The leader, according to his own press release, communicates with some 200,000 of his compatriots via Facebook. In truth, he’s communicating with some 30,000 of them, not much more than the actual number of fans on Shelly’s page… there’s also the feeling the numbers have been bloated artificially.

Screenshot of the searches can be found at the bottom of Saragovi’s post. It should be noted that Netanyahu has been advertising his page relentlessly in the last few months – even if none of the “likes” on his page have been purchased, as activists were quick to suggest, the financial investment in the page is a considerable one.

The Prime Minister’s Office is yet to respond to the stats.

 

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • COMMENTS

    1. LOL. Is there anything about this man that isn’t fake?

      Reply to Comment
    2. @ Rechavia:
      Yes, his scary right-wing agenda. I believe that’s real.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Iman

      Netanyahu is from America and speaks perfect English. He’s long been adored by the right-wing pro-Israel establishment in America.

      Right-wing pro-Israel Jews in America have no real connection to Israel, so they try to compensate for that by drooling over “the leader” Netanyahu.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Leen

      If there was a dislike for Netanyahu, it would surpass the 200,000 in 2 days.

      Reply to Comment
    5. dickerson3870

      RE: “Mr. Prime Minister [Netanyahu]… Hope you had a lovely Easter.” ~ Yoanna Solovan

      MY COMMENT: And I’m certain Ms. Solovana hopes you also had a very merry Christmas, Mr. Prime Minister! And a nice Thanksgiving, to boot!

      P.S. How are things down there in Jamaica, Yoanna? I see on your Facebook page that you are a graduate of St. Hilda’s Diocesan High School, an Anglican boarding school for girls in Brown’s Town, St. Ann, Jamaica. What was that like?

      Reply to Comment
    6. Rodrigo

      Dickerson3870, I would like to like your comment..
      .

      As for this post, it seems somewhat petty. Yes, Netanyahu has lots and lots of fans around the world. His English is perfect and American conservatives love him. The comparison to Yechimovich is problematic since no one has any idea who she is outside the borders of Israel.
      .

      Also, why does 972mag on Facebook like Yuli Edelstein? It seems a little out of character, no?

      Reply to Comment
    7. XYZ

      During the last election, those who voted for the Likud and its allied Center-Right parties that make up a large majority in the Knesset, were in effect voting LIKE for him because they wanted him to form the majority governing coalition. That was a heck of a lot more than those who voted for Tzippi Livni and Ehud Barak. Too bad.

      Reply to Comment
    8. JOSH

      Leftists making fun of Bibi for getting international support? Why? Isn’t the complaint that Bib has isolated us internationally?

      Reply to Comment
    9. Philos

      Josh, part of the complaint is the Bibi is beholden to foreign Jews and doesn’t give a rats ass about the average Israeli…

      Reply to Comment
    10. JOSH

      It’s the left that is not concerned with the average Israeli. That’s why they love the idea of Obama pressuring the democratically elected leader of Israel (That’s Bibi and the right wing, for whom the “average Israeli” voted for) on settlements and other issues. The left doesn’t think that the average Israeli is mature enough or sophisticated enough to make decisions for themselves. They need to be pressured by the beloved, holy international community.

      Reply to Comment
    11. JOSH

      Bibi should be beholden to foreign Jews to a certain extent. Israel always has been. We tried Eichmann even though he didn’t do anything against the “State of Israel.” We concerned ourselves with Russian Jews and Ethiopian Jews even though they weren’t Israelis. It’s a Jewish state. That’s kind of the point of it.

      Reply to Comment
    12. phlegmatico

      so Peace Now will refuse to accept the schnurr money from “American Friends of Peace NOW” and “New Israel Fund” ?!?

      Reply to Comment
    13. scott

      so what

      Reply to Comment
    14. klang

      Labor: Netanyahu’s many Facebook fans are not from Israel
      so what?

      Reply to Comment
    15. Iman

      “Leftists making fun of Bibi for getting international support? Why? Isn’t the complaint that Bib has isolated us internationally?”

      I hope it doesn’t need to be explained why that’s a dumb comment.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Tod

      Brilliantly said Josh. You made some points I hadn’t thought of, and I was going to make a further point myself but then see you already made that too. Great stuff. Kol HaKavod.

      Reply to Comment

    LEAVE A COMMENT

    Name (Required)
    Mail (Required)
    Website
    Free text

© 2010 - 2014 +972 Magazine
Follow Us
Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website empowered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel