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Israeli PM's Office Hires Jewish Believer for Social Media

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JERUSALEM, Israel – An Israeli believer in Jesus is making headlines here after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office hired him as the new deputy social media advisor for the prime minister, a media report said.

Hananya Naftali is a popular social media figure, advocating on behalf of Israel on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. He has been sharing on social media for several years and has a following of more than 310,000 on Facebook and more than 26,000 on Twitter.

But at least the Jerusalem Post is taking issue with his beliefs.

"PM's newest adviser: A Jew who loves Jesus" is the headline in Wednesday's print edition of the Jerusalem Post. Later the web version headlined, "From Praising Jesus to Tweeting Bibi, PM's New Recruit Has Colorful Past."

In the front page article, the Post noted that Naftali's parents are both, Jewish but said he had called himself "a Christian" in one video.  

According to the article, Netanyahu's social media advisor, Topaz Luk, hired him.  He described Naftali as "a full Jew on both sides, who respects Christians, who love Israel and do so much to strengthen Israel."

Luk was quoted as saying that Naftali was a "superstar" and he would help in running Netanyahu's social media networks.

In an interview a year ago, Naftali asked Netanyahu for his advice on how to defend Israel on social media.

"It's easy to advocate for the State of Israel because all you have to do is advocate the truth," Netanyahu said. "That's my tip:  just tell the truth."

Naftali, who was an IDF soldier and fought Hamas in Operation Protective Edge – Israel's 2014 battle in the Gaza Strip – has produced numerous videos doing just that.

From the Gaza Strip to the Syrian border to standing against the claim that Israel is apartheid, Naftali details the threats, disputes, and accusations against Israel.

In one of his most popular videos, "How to Boycott Israel," a friendly Naftali lists all the things that Israel haters should remove: Intel Pentium chips from their computers and laptops, as well as firewall and anti-virus programs. He also advises not to use Microsoft operating systems and not to use SMS messaging on the cell phone.

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About The Author

Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel full-time for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN – first as a graduate student in Journalism, then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91, and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. As a correspondent for CBN News, Julie has covered Israel’s wars with Gaza, rocket attacks on Israeli communities, stories on the Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, and the