Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Coming soon: A YouTube interview with Netanyahu
“I urge you to communicate your thoughts, bring forth your questions, and I’ll try to answer them as best I can,” PM says in filmed promo.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who during two years in office has given only a handful of interviews to Israeli media, will answer questions sent in by a world-wide audience during a YouTube interview on March 23.
“I urge you to communicate your thoughts, and bring forth your questions, and I’ll try to answer them as best I can,” Netanyahu said in a filmed promo for the interview.
US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron are the only two other leaders to have taken part so far in YouTube’s World View Project that invites local and international viewers to pose questions to world leaders. Channel 2 News is collaborating with YouTube in the interview, which will be broadcast live on both YouTube and Channel 2.
Some 140,000 questions were uploaded, and more than a million votes cast on which question to ask, for the interview with Obama. Some 10,000 questions, and 36,000 votes, were cast for the Cameron interview.
Among the questions that have been uploaded so far for Netanyahu include the following:
• “Why are we not attacking the Arabs in return for the killing of an entire family?”
• “The level of education and the teachers in the country over the last few years is low because of the low salaries and poor conditions. What can be done to stop the deterioration in this situation?”
• “Why are gas prices rising?”
• “Do you think you can defeat Hezbollah in the next war, and is it possible for Hezbollah to actually take the Galilee away from you guys?”
• “How does it feel to have all that blood on your hands? You should be locked up for your war crimes!”
• “Are you a Maccabi Tel Aviv fan?” Anyone can either text or video in a question, which will then be voted on. The top five percent vote-getting questions will then be placed in a pool from which Channel 2’s Dana Weiss will draw on to ask Netanyahu.
The interview will be for 40 minutes, 20 minutes in Hebrew on Channel 2, and 20 minutes in English on YouTube.
An official in the Prime Minister’s Office said that Netanyahu wanted to go the “new media” route for an interview because he felt it would give him a less filtered contact with both the Israeli public and the world.
Following the role the new media has played in the revolutions in the Arab world, Netanyahu’s decision to interview via this forum is also an acknowledgment of the new media’s growing global importance, the official said.
Furthermore, he said, it is a way to get Israel’s message out to the “Facebook generation.”
The interview is being plugged on YouTube’s Facebook page, which has enormous exposure – including in the Arab world – and which has some 28,575,680 people who “like” it.
Questions can be submitted through http://www.youtube.com/user/worldview.