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If Your Time is short
- This is a fictional speech that first appeared online in 2014.
Amid unrest in Israel and Gaza, the text of a supposed speech recently given by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been spreading on social media.
According to a May 11 Facebook post, Netanyahu directed his comments at Hamas "leaders and operatives" while speaking in front of Israel’s parliament.
"We, the people of Israel, owe you a huge debt of gratitude," says the statement falsely attributed to Netanyahu. "You have succeeded where we have failed. Because never before, in the history of the modern state of Israel, has the Jewish people been so united, like one person with one heart. Everyone in Israel, left to right, secular and religious, is united in the knowledge that there is no accommodating an enemy that is sworn to the genocide of our people."
According to the post, Netanyahu then gave an ultimatum — "one last chance" — to cease all rocket fire forever or else Israel’s military would cross the border with Gaza.
"Every centimeter of land that we conquer will be annexed to Israel," the post says he said.
But he didn’t. It’s fiction.
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The text of this speech is being newly shared on social media but it first appeared online in 2014, when "Shaul B," the other of a Blogspot blog called "Free Thought," posted it with a final line that has been omitted in the Facebook post: "And then I awoke, and it was all a dream."
On May 13, 2021, he wrote a new blog post titled "I created a monster" that addresses how his made-up speech started to spread without context.
"I wrote a work of viral fake-news, completely unintentionally," he said. "I wasn’t specifically intending for my openly fictional prose to get copypasta’d and circulated as if it were real. … It seems that every time Israel goes into yet another round of fighting with Hamas, my monster, seemingly of its own volition, creaks open the top of its coffin, lurches out into cyberspace, and storms around the world, now in multiple languages."
We rate claims that Netanyahu made the speech that appears on this blog False.
Facebook post, May 11, 2021
The New York Times, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, visited May 14, 2021
Free Thought, Breaking News: Netanyahu’s speech to Hamas, July 8, 2014
Free Thought, I go viral!, July 15, 2014
Free Thought, I created a monster, May 13, 2021
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