Foreign Policy Blogs

Netanyahu has joined Snapchat

Prime Minister Netanyahu has joined a growing number of world leaders taking their message to one of today’s fast-growing social media platforms: Snapchat (@israelipm). Indeed, Netanyahu is already on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

His first snap is a series of jokes—professionally edited to look unedited—spliced with the message that “Snapchat is a powerful medium and I look forward to using it to tell the truth about Israel.”

Some of Netanyahu’s jokes in his first snap:

  • He starts by announcing that today he is joining “Stopchat.” When corrected, he deadpans: “Snoopchat?”
  • “Since Snapchat disappears, I’ve decided to conduct all secret conversations and communications with Snapchat.”
  • “You can only talk for 10 seconds. I wish we had that in the government.”
  • He concludes with “now I can finally tell you all of Israel’s most closely held secrets, like…” He is abruptly interrupted by static and the SMPTE color bars.”

Netanyahu understands the power of unfiltered words, spoken directly to the camera. He was a masterful representative for Israel when he served as their Ambassador to the UN. He understands America, speaks English as a native, and is a powerful orator with a deep voice and a smile in his eyes.

Even before becoming Prime Minister, he has one of Israel’s most strident spokespeople, whether sitting down for a one-on-one interview with the American press or addressing the world through the UN.

His understanding of video seems to have evolved of late. He has recently released several videos (that have subsequently gone viral) which feature him sitting at a desk and speaking directly to the camera. He shared a touching response to the heinous Orlando attack; the Financial Times called his video a “masterclass in responding to tragedy.” It has been viewed over 22 million times and shared over 667,000 times online.

After Hallal Ariel was brutally murdered in her sleep, Netanyahu again chose to respond at his desk, speaking directly to the camera. His video response became a significant part of the conversation.

Netanyahu has long understood the media. It is now becoming clear he is also quite adept at social media. His interest in Snapchat serves as an easy extension of his online brand and it will be interesting to see how he approaches this new medium of communication.

I know that I for one will be following along. Join me in the conversation on Twitter at @jlemonsk.



Josh Klemons

Josh Klemons has an MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution with a concentration in the Middle East from American University. He has lived, worked and studied in Israel and done extensive traveling throughout the region. He once played music with Hadag Nachash.

He now works as a digital storyteller/strategist with brands on finding, honing and telling their stories online. Follow him on twitter @jlemonsk and check him out at