Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to steal the upcoming national election by means of manipulating social media, his rivals were crying on Monday, in echos of Democratic Party allegations against US President Donald Trump.
The poll-leading "Blue and White" faction on Monday accused Netanyahu of "trying to steal the elections," and demanded that the Central Elections Committee order "the immediate cessation of this ugly fake news campaign."
The party was responding to reports in both the American and Israeli media that hundreds of Twitter and Facebook accounts promoting Netanyahu had been exposed as fake.
The reports cited a study by a group known as the Israeli Alliance, which is partly funded by the Tides Foundation. Our readers might recognize Tides as one of the conduits through which radical billionaire political activist George Soros has previously pushed his ultra-liberal agenda.
According to the survey, at least 154 pro-Netanyahu social media accounts were found to have been created using fake names, and another 400 are under suspicion. All of these accounts were reportedly working in tandem to push propaganda favorable toward Netanyahu, posts that had received no fewer than 2.5 million click over the past couple months.
Netanyahu's political rivals are playing up the growing perception that the prime minister is manipulating social media and resorting to "fake news" to win the upcoming April 9 election.
But, as the media has acknowledged with a twinge of envy, Netanyahu enjoys a massive six million-strong following of his own on social media. He hardly needs to employ such sketchy tactics to get his message out there.
Expect Israel's political campaigns to get increasingly dirty and accusatory as we approach election day.