Man convicted of incitement for tweeting that Netanyahu should be hanged

A man was convicted Sunday on charges of incitement of violence against former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his family, Hebrew media reported.

The Krayot Magistrate’s Court in northern Israel convicted Zvi Binstein in a plea bargain that saw him confess to the charge.

Binstein was found guilty based on tweets he wrote in the summer and fall of 2020, a time of widespread demonstrations against the rule of then-prime minister Netanyahu.

In a July 2020 tweet, he called the Netanyahus “the family of crime,” characterizing Netanyahu himself as “the godfather of the Balfour gang” — referring to Balfour Street in Jerusalem, which houses the premier’s official residence — and his wife as “Sara the thief.”

In a different tweet, from November 2020, he accused Netanyahu of being responsible for former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s 1995 assassination, and urged protesters to hang Netanyahu and his family just like “the citizens of Romania did” to their former Communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu during the 1989 revolution.

At the time when Binstein wrote his tweets, weekly demonstrations we being held against Netanyahu outside his official residence.

Police officers clash with demonstrators during a protest against then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, outside the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, April 24, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The demonstrations, which called for Netanyahu’s resignation and came to be known as the “Balfour protests,” began in July 2020 and lasted until June 2021, when Netanyahu was ousted from power. Some weekends saw over 20,000 protestors in Jerusalem alone, shutting down major streets in the city, in addition to other demonstrators across the country.

The protests were the site of clashes between demonstrators and police, as well as between pro- and anti-Netanyahu demonstrators.

Sunday’s plea bargain stipulated that the government would sentence Binstein to up to nine months of community service, probation, and a fine.

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