Erdogan is no longer satisfied with trading social media barbs with Benjamin Netanyahu. He’s started in on the prime minister’s son.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan upped the stakes Saturday in his tit-for-tat exchanges on Twitter with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Erdogan was angered by Netanyahu’s son, Yair, who reminded him in a tweet last Wednesday that his capital city was called Constantinople as “the capital of the Byzantine empire and center of Orthodox Christianity for more then [sic] a thousand years before Turkish occupation.”
In an additional “reminder,” he mentioned various genocides Turks have carried out “against Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians” and the ethnic cleansing of “all Christians from Asia Minor.”
Erdogan responded that the Israeli leader should “twist his son’s ear” for his words, and if he doesn’t, “I have other means of educating Israel if Netanyahu or his son continue to insult us.”
Netanyahu’s son did not seem impressed by the threat. Later in the day, he retweeted a follower’s post that is almost sure to anger the Turkish president further: “Maybe it’s a good idea to start a new hashtag to piss off the mad Turk: #Istanbul_is_Constaninople [sic].”
The latest series of name-calling began last week after tensions arose on the Temple Mount, when Erdogan called Netanyahu a tyrant and a murderer during an election rally.
The Israeli prime minister responded by calling the Turkish leader a “dictator who sends tens of thousands of political opponents to prison, commits genocide against the Kurds and occupies northern Cyprus,” and suggested that he not try to preach about “democracy and the ethics of war” to Israel.
It was after Erdogan called his father a murderer that Yair Netanyahu went on the offensive.
The older son of Benjamin and Sarah Netanyahu has been an avid defender of the prime minister on social media, especially during the current election season.
As a result, his employer, the Shurat Hadin Law Center, which sues terror-supporting entities such as Iran, the PLO and Hamas on behalf of their victims, has given him a mutually agreed-upon leave of absence at least until after the elections.