NEW YORK — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair vented about the Israeli media’s “lynching” of his family to self-proclaimed “America's Rabbi” Shmuley Boteach at a small event in Manhattan on Wednesday.
“If you think you have a problem with the media in America, in Israel it’s way more nasty,” he told the few dozen people gathered at Boteach’s Upper West Side home, which doubles as the headquarters of his World Values Network organization.
Boteach, who is a vocal supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump and closely associated to Netanyahu megadonor Sheldon Adelson, set the media-hostile tone for the evening with a tirade on civility and ethics, asking potential protesters to reveal themselves in advance.
“If anyone here is a journalist and feels that they’re going to have to yell out a question or be disrespectful, or if anyone is here from an organization that doesn’t like Yair Netanyahu, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel, the Jewish people, Rabbi Shmuley — what is there not to like? — then at least be honest,” he said. “Can I have everyone’s confirmation that you will not disrupt?”
The pledge was broken midway through the event not by the Israeli and American journalists in attendance, but by activists — including Code Pink’s Ariel Gold and people associated with organizations such as IfNotNow, Jews for Racial Justice and Never Again Action — who slammed the two speakers for supporting Trump.
Protest errupted at @RabbiShmuley event with @YairNetanyahu in NY tonight. Distubance was led by @ArielElyseGold and @codepink pic.twitter.com/6quUbdDWdM
— Danielle Ziri (@DanielleZiri) November 7, 2019
Yair Netanyahu, who was introduced by Boteach as “a very good spokesperson” for Israel, said he has been witnessing a “serious, vicious, vile media lynch [sic]” on his family his whole life.
“Frankly, it’s really exhausting and it never ends,” the 28-year-old said.