Netanyahu’s YouTube gig showcases new media policy

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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Questions were selected from more than 3,670 queries submitted by YouTube users from nearly 90 countries, including from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan, and voted on by others.

The questions, published ahead of time, included his handling of the issue of a captured Israeli soldier held by Gaza militants, the impasse in negotiations with the Palestinians, Israel’s West Bank settlement building and the recent upheavals in the Middle East.

Netanyahu’s office insisted it was not trying to get around the traditional media.

“We understand the importance of new media in the modern world _ it allows the prime minister to speak to the people without filters, so that people can ask him question without filters,” said spokesman Mark Regev. “But I don’t think that it has to come at the expense of the traditional media.”

Danny Zaken, chairman of Israel’s press association, thinks it has.

“He’s constantly trying to find ways to bypass us,” he said. “We believe that every public servant should make himself available to journalists and their questions.”

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