THE HAGUE (JTA) — A Dutch news show stirred controversy with a fake video of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bragging to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about civilian deaths in Gaza.
“We are trying to maximize the number of civilian casualties. We prefer that,” Netanyahu is seen telling Clinton in the video, which the broadcaster Vara aired on Nov. 21 as part of the satirical corner of the prime-time news show De Wereld Draait Door. Approximately 1.5 million viewers watch the show every evening.
The video, made to appear genuine through seamless splicing of sound bites from previous speeches by Netanyahu, was spread by thousands of Twitter and Facebook users who advertised it under the headline “Netanyahu finally tells the truth.”
“We are conducting these surgical operations against schools, mosques, hospitals, children,” Netanyahu is heard saying, adding, “This is something I don’t have to explain to Americans.”
De Telegraaf, the Netherlands’ largest-circulation daily, reported that the video irked Israel’s supporters here.
“The video is tasteless but the show’s satirical corner spares no one, so this isn’t about agenda,” said Esther Voet, deputy director of the pro-Israel Center for Information and Documentation on Israel. “The problem is that the clip is humorless and technically a good forgery, so many people don’t understand its satirical nature.”
Timon Dias, a Sri Lanka-born columnist for the Dagelijkse Standard — the Dutch equivalent of the Huffington Post — said the video is “reminiscent of the many blood libels that already exist about Israel and Jews.”