Home inContext Egyptians, Saudis Logging-In to Hear Netanyahu

Egyptians, Saudis Logging-In to Hear Netanyahu

Samara Greenberg

A report marking the first year of operations of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s social media networks has come across an unusual find: The Arab World is interested in the prime minister.

According to the report, Americans watch the prime minister’s YouTube channel the most, with 23.4 percent of all viewers living in the U.S. Second to America, however, is Egypt, with 18 percent of Netanyahu’s audience living in the Arab country. In third place is Israel, with 15 percent of total viewers, and coming in fourth place is Saudi Arabia, which comprises 11 percent of viewers. Out of the 100 video clips on Netanyahu’s YouTube channel, the most viewed clip is Netanyahu’s Ramadan greetings, which received 80,000 hits, 60 percent of which came from Arab countries.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu online

Egyptians are also reportedly very active on the prime minister’s Facebook page and Twitter account, where his status is often offered to followers in Arabic, Hebrew, and English. While the U.S. is in the lead with the number of Twitter followers, Israel is second, followed by the UK, Canada, Germany, Egypt, and Brazil.

Prime Minister Netanyahu joined the social media world last August with new Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter accounts. “Social media channels are today vital to Israeli public relations, government transparency and keeping the public informed,” the prime minster’s bureau said in a statement at that time. Before the PM’s jump, other Israeli politicians and offices were a part of the game. Notably, the Foreign Ministry’s Twitter account responds to tweets from abroad by presenting the Israeli point of view.

That Egyptians and Saudis log-on to view the prime minister is great news. Israel must do everything in its power to dispel the negative and often misleading information out there about the country and encourage Israeli-Arab ties.