Yisrael Beytenu Tuesday morning issued a sharp denial that party head Avigdor Liberman had called for the banning of bris milah, saying that a social media post allegedly written by Liberman was “fake news,” and was planted on social media by Likud supporters. “We will demand a police investigation,” the party said.
In the social media post in question, Liberman allegedly wrote that “Yisrael Beytenu will put an end to the barbaric ritual known as bris milah. This is 2019, and a mohel is simply work for chareidim who don’t want to find a real job. This will come to an end.”
The social media post, which was spread widely over numerous networks, elicited sharp and angry responses from many people, who criticized Liberman for the idea and questioned his commitment to other Jewish rituals and principles – and questioned whether he was Jewish himself.
The party said that the post itself was a fake, even though it appeared with Liberman’s name above it. In addition, the thousands of negative comments about the post that “suddenly” showed up on social media networks were likely fake as well, the work of bots that generated messages automatically.
“Yisrael Beytenu wishes to make clear that the message spread about the party’s support for an end to bris milah is fake, and that it was produced by political groups opposed to the party. We have identified at least one fake social media account used to spread the message, and we have identified its owner, who is a Likud supporter.
We in Yisrael Beytenu are in favor of Jewish tradition, although we oppose religious coercion. We will fight against the spread of fake news with all our resources. We will be in touch with police today to file a complaint.”