The prime minister’s son Yair Netanyahu is apparently the one responsible for the controversial tweet from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's account in support of US President Donald Trump's plans to build a border wall with Mexico in order to stop illegal immigration, testimony gathered by the police indicates.
The tweet, posted in January 2017, enraged the Mexican government, which demanded an apology and summoned Israeli Ambassador in Mexico Jonathan Peled for a reprimand.
This isn't the first time allegations emerge that the younger Netanyahu has been behind some of the most controversial political and security decisions made by his father the prime minister.
“Trump is right...Great idea,” tweeted Netanyahu.
The America president wasted no time, retweeting the message shortly after.
In Mexico, however, the tweet caused an uproar and was labeled as “aggressive.”
According to testimonies gathered by the police, the contentious tweet was posted despite opposition from the prime minister’s advisors. Among those who opposed the tweet were Netanyahu's former foreign policy adviser Dr. Jonathan Schachter and current chief of staff Yoav Horowitz, as well as senior advisors Topaz Luk and Jonathan Urich—who is considered Netanyahu's closest advisor—yet their objections fell on deaf ears.
Eventually the tweet was published, leading to a diplomatic storm.
“This was an unnecessary tweet, published against the recommendations of all professional advisers,” said an inside source.
“Although it is not criminal, it adds up to yet another questionable decision by Netanyahu, some of which have been security related,” added the source.
During the investigation of prime minister’s affairs, police investigators have gained access to differents witness reports detailing Netanyahu’s decision-making process, indicating that some of the decisions were made under pressure from family members, especially from Yair.
Nir Hefetz, a former Netanyahu communications chief and now a state's witness, told police how Yair pressured his father to install metal detectors on The Temple Mount, which led to widescale rioting, and how he encouraged his father to meet and take photos with a security guard who shot dead two people at the Israeli Embassy in Jordan—which enraged the Jordanian government and king.
“The opinion of the security services was clear, but Bibi went the other way due to pressure at home, especially from Yair,” Hefetz said, using the prime minister's nickname.
Following Hefetz’s testimony, police garthered testimonies from other sources who have been involved in the making of the aforementioned decisions.
Responding to the report, Yair Netanyahu said through the family’s official spokesperson, “It never happened. More fake news.”