JERUSALEM (JTA) – Yair Netanyahu, the son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pressured his father to post a tweet in support of U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the border with Mexico.
The tweet, made in January 2017, led the Mexican government to summon the Israeli ambassador to Mexico for a reprimand. The Mexican government also demanded an apology from Israel.
The tweet said: “President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel’s southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea.”
Trump retweeted it less than a day later.
The Israeli daily Yediot Acharonot on Sunday published a report that notes the prime minister posted the tweet at his son’s urging, despite the opposition of several of the prime minister’s top advisers.
“This was an unnecessary tweet, published against the recommendations of all professional advisers,” an inside source told Yediot. “Although it is not criminal, it adds up to yet another questionable decision by Netanyahu, some of which have been security related.”
The information came to light in witness reports describing Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision-making process during an investigation of the prime minister’s affairs, according to Yediot. Some decisions were made under pressure from family members, including Yair, according to the report.
Nir Hefetz, a former Netanyahu communications director who turned state’s witness in one of the investigations against the prime minister, told police how Yair Netanyahu pressured his father to install metal detectors on The Temple Mount in the wake of the killing in July 2017 of two Israeli police officers at the site, which led to wide-spread protests.
The metal detectors were removed less than a month later.