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Netanyahu suggests on Facebook that Biden fell asleep meeting new Israeli PM

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: Ceremony to appreciate the health sector for their contribution to the fight against COVID-19, in Jerusalem

(Removes typographical error in first paragraph)

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested in a Facebook video posted on Sunday that U.S. President Joe Biden had fallen asleep when meeting the new Israeli leader Naftali Bennett last month.

A Reuters fact check https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-biden-asleep-idUSL1N2Q00H8 previously debunked the idea that Biden dozed off, after social media users shared a video clip of the U.S. president that they said showed him looking down and nodding off as Bennett spoke in the Oval Office.

The clip that was shared around was misleadingly cropped, according to the Reuters fact check. Seconds after the clip was cut, longer footage showed Biden responded to Bennett.

In a video Netanyahu posted on his Facebook page on Sunday, an off-camera voice says: "You know, Bennett met with Biden."

"I heard. I heard that Biden was very attentive at this meeting. He dropped his head in agreement," Netanyahu replied, letting his own head fall in a swift motion, as if to mimic someone falling asleep.

Netanyahu, 71, and head of the right-wing Likud party, was largely in lockstep with the Middle East policies of Democrat Biden's Republican predecessor, Donald Trump.

Netanyahu's reference to the Biden meeting was a brief segment in a nearly 26-minute video that touched on a variety of political issues. But it drew headlines on Israeli news websites, several of which accused Netanyahu of mocking Biden.

In June, a new government of left-wing, centrist, right-wing and Arab parties led by Bennett replaced Netanyahu's administration, ending the conservative politician's 12-year run as Israel's longest-serving leader.

Now in opposition, Netanyahu has promised to govern again.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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