All Israel

Despite foreign-media interview blitz, Netanyahu was a no show at Christian Media Summit in Jerusalem

Why is the prime minister-designate giving a flurry of interviews overseas but remaining mum in the Hebrew press?

Likud Head Benjamin Netanyahu seen after coalition talks with Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri and Religious Zionism party Head Bezalel Smotrich outside a hotel in Jerusalem, Dec. 5, 2022. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM—Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has been on a Christian and English-language media circuit and book tour over the past few weeks.

Joel Osteen, Erick Stakelbeck, Robert Jeffress, Bari Weiss, Dr. Jordan Peterson and Fox News to name a few.

It makes sense since his recently-released memoir, “Bibi: My Story,” refers to Christians 42 times, 36 of which are specifically about Evangelicals.

But in doing so, he has scrupulously avoided the Hebrew media.

"When Netanyahu faces times of trouble he doesn't speak to the Hebrew media which asks tough questions," Honest Reporting Director and veteran political analyst Gil Hoffman told ALL ISRAEL NEWS.

Hoffman also points out that Netanyahu only gives interviews to Israeli media during election years.

The incoming prime minister canceled his appearance at the Christian Media Summit in Jerusalem. The summit – now in its sixth year – is sponsored by Israel's Government Press Office and caters to Christian reporters from here and abroad.

Netanyahu was to be the star attraction for opening night on Sunday, but the conference was told he had to pull the plug at the last minute due to ongoing negotiations to form his new government.

With a successful election behind him and the nod to create Israel's next government, Netanyahu and his negotiators have been at work brokering deals to form a majority coalition with an expected 64 seats in the 120-seat parliament.

However, his ease of amassing willing coalition partners has been wrought with intense criticism by the left wing in Israel and much of the foreign media who perceive that the government taking shape will take Israel to right-wing and religious extremes.

Thus, Netanyahu's motivation for conducting interviews with publications and organizations abroad.

Hoffman said it is important to Netanyahu "to reassure" the world that his government will not be the right-wing Frankenstein many have been portraying.

Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS

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