Israeli celebrity sparks firestorm with ‘Netanyahu, king of the apes’ post

Yonatan Geffen posted the insult on his Instagram account but erased it hours later.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Outspoken veteran composer, singer and journalist Yonatan Geffen reacted with intense dislike to the triumph of the right-wing bloc Tuesday night, insulting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his constituents by calling them monkeys.

Over a picture of Netanyahu kissing his wife Sarah after his victory speech Monday night, Geffen wrote on his Instagram account: “Love in the days of Corona [virus]. How sad after the victory speech of Tarzan, King of the Apes. Tarzan is not leaving us. And I apologize if I offended the apes.”

The internet erupted with angry reactions to the post. A fellow journalist, Ariel Shenbal, wrote, “Mr. Yonatan Geffen, you say these kinds of things a day *before* the elections, not a day *after*. Now you’ve outed yourself not only as a primitive racist and an idiot but also useless in bringing in mandates, so what have we gained by this.”

A few hours later, the post disappeared from his account.

Geffen, 73, is a known leftist, and this wasn’t the first time he reacted acidly to a Netanyahu win. After the 2015 elections, he called the prime minister a racist during a musical performance.

“The nation has again chosen one whose rule is based on scaring the nation,” he said.

“A racist who on Election Day told the media, ‘The Arabs are streaming to the voting booths in large numbers.’ What would you say if during German elections they’d say, ‘The Jews are running like mice to the voting booths?’ …. All those who put Bibi’s name in the voting box, do me a favor: Don’t cry when your children will die in the next stupid military campaign…. You chose a leader who promises us death.”

He also called Netanyahu a “Caesar” who divides the nation.

Geffen was attacked at the entrance to his home on Moshav Beit Yitzchak a few days afterwards. An anonymous man knocked on his door, and when Geffen opened it, he hit the singer in the face, called him a “traitor,” and threw eggs at him.