Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently appointed Gilad Zwick as his new media advisor, despite Zwick's controversial tweets criticizing President Joe Biden, as reported by the daily Haaretz. Zwick, a journalist from a conservative Israeli TV station, referred to Biden as "unfit" to rule and accused him of "slowly but surely destroying America" in his tweets. Some of these tweets, including support for former President Donald Trump's false claims about the 2020 US election, were later deleted.
While Zwick did not provide a comment on the matter, he did tweet in English on Monday, stating that he wrote those posts about Biden as a private citizen and that he would act professionally in the prime minister's office.
I was a private citizen when I wrote the tweets about President Biden. I don't hold those views today and I will act in a completely professional manner in the Prime Minister's Office— Gilad Zwick (@giladzw) June 5, 2023
Zwick had previously worked for Israel Hayom, a pro-Netanyahu daily, but Netanyahu's office declined to comment on the appointment.
This appointment comes at a time when relations between Israel and its closest ally, the United States, are strained. Disagreements have emerged over Israel's plans to overhaul the judiciary and concerns about the government's ultranationalist stance. President Biden has expressed public concern about the Israeli government's judicial reform plans, which have sparked ongoing mass protests, even after being temporarily suspended. The Biden administration has also raised unease regarding Netanyahu's government, which includes ultranationalists holding senior positions related to the Palestinians and other sensitive issues.
These tensions have resulted in President Biden not extending the usual invitation for Netanyahu to visit the White House after his election win last year. Critics accuse Netanyahu of turning Israel into a divisive issue in US politics, pointing to his apparent support for Republican candidates and his 2015 speech to Congress, seen as a slight against the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran. However, Netanyahu maintains that Israel's bond with the US remains unbreakable and downplays any disagreements as typical among friends.
Adding to the complex dynamics, last month, Israel's parliament hosted US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, only the second House speaker to address the Knesset, following Republican Newt Gingrich in 1998. The evolving relationship between Israel and the United States continues to navigate challenges and differing viewpoints on critical matters.
(With AP Inputs)