Daily Israel Report

PM's 'Hasbara' Director Suspended Over 'Offensive' Posts

Danny Seaman, head of Israel's on-line communications activities, claims he is the victim of a vendetta by left-wing newspaper.
By David Lev
First Publish: 8/15/2013, 10:44 AM

Danny Seaman
Danny Seaman
Flash90

Danny Seaman, who is director of social and interactive media in the Prime Minister's Office, has been suspended after several people complained that he had made offensive posts on his personal Facebook page. There was no word as to when, or if, he would return to work.

Seaman oversees the government's Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Youtube video channels, and other on-line activities, presenting messages from the government on policy, and providing official points of view on political and security matters. He, like many others involved in on-line work, also has his own personal social media channels that reflect his personal point of view.

According to newspaper reports in Ha'aretz earlier this week, Seaman posted messages on his Facebook page that several readers considered offensive. Among the messages were several that expressed extreme skepticism over the negotiations being held in Washington between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

In one message, Seaman wrote “there was a siren sounded in Ramallah for 65 seconds today, in memory of the 'Nakba,' the establishment of the state of Israel that is a day of mourning in the PA. But 65 seconds is not enough time for them to stop and think about how stupid they are” for continuing to oppose Israel's existence. In another posting, the report said, Seaman used an epithet to describe Saeb Erekat, the PA's chief negotiator.

As a result, Seaman has been suspended, reports Thursday said. He was told not to post any material on Israeli policy until the situation is clarified.

In an interview, Seeman said that Ha'aretz, which published the allegations of racism, “never liked me. I am the one who withheld press passes for Palestinian reporters and gave a hard time to foreign journalists who have a strong anti-Israel bias.” These actions, he said, had made him a target at Ha'aretz.