Netanyahu: The media is an industry of gloom

PM says Israeli media is free and will remain so, but is monolithic in only seeing the bad in Israel.

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PM Netanyahu at toast for PMO employees
PM Netanyahu at toast for PMO employees
Amos Ben Gershom

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu criticized the news industry during a toast for employees of the Prime Minister's Office Monday afternoon.

"The media in the State of Israel is free, it will remain free," Netanyahu said. "If you turn on the tv or open the newspapers and see the thing they usually write about me, it may make you laugh. It sure does not make me laugh, but that's life in a democracy."

"The last thing we want is for it to be the reverse, but I'll tell you what I see in the media - not enough diversity. It does not reflect the opinions of the public. There is an industry of gloom here."

"Where they see unemployment, I see full employment. Where they see a broken economy,, I see a flourishing economy. Where they see traffic jams, I see new interchanges, trains and bridges. Where they see hesitation and insecurity, I see an extraordinary intensity and power that radiates all around us. That's what I see," Netanyahu explained.

He continued his line of argument. "Where they see gas at sea, I see gas on land, and we are working on it...Where they see a collapsing, disintegrating state, I see Israel emerging as a world power. The world...looks at us as a global technological power as a global force in security, intelligence and technology."

Netanyahu also addressed recent attacks on haredi IDF soldiers. "I am very proud of the haredi soldiers who serve in the IDF, and I was one of the founders of the Nahal Haredi [battalion]. Whichever homes these soldiers come from, they protect us all, including the haredi community. They deserve respect."