Sep 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Netanyahu mocks Biden about debunked falling asleep video


Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu mocked President Biden's physical appearance during a Facebook live session with supporters on Sunday and imitated him falling asleep.

Why it matters: This is an unprecedented move by Netanyahu who just a few months ago was still the prime minister and is trying to make a political comeback.

Driving the news: Several weeks ago, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party shared on social media an edited video of Biden’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Twitter and insinuated Biden fell asleep during the meeting.

  • The tweet went viral in Israel, especially among Netanyahu supporters, and had more than 5 million views. Fact checks by Reuters and other news outlets concluded the video, which was shared on social media in the U.S., was misleading. As a result, Twitter designated the tweet by Netanyahu’s crony as “manipulated content.”
  • During a Facebook live session on Sunday, Netanyahu echoed that tweet when he spoke about Bennett’s meeting with Biden. “I heard Biden was very attentive to what Bennett had to say… He dropped his head in agreement,” Netanyahu said while imitating Biden and dropping his head.

What they are saying: After the Israeli press reported about the Facebook Live session, Netanyahu issued a statement blaming the media for showing “a manipulative picture” and denied he criticized Biden.

  • “Former Prime Minister Netanyahu knows and cherishes president Biden as a friend of Israel for 40 years. His criticism was directed only at Naftali Bennett who spoke at length about nothing during his visit to the White House,'' Netanyahu's Likud Party said in a statement.
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