Miami Pornographer Named Israel Sells Twitter Handle to Israel

Country buys username from porn site owner

By Brian Hamacher
|  Tuesday, Sep 14, 2010  |  Updated 11:45 AM EDT
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Israel is finally joining the Twitterverse -- thanks to a Spanish pornographer who lives in the Magic City.

A bizarre deal was struck between pornographer Israel Melendez and the Jewish country over the handle @israel, according to the New York Times.

Melendez acquired the Twitter username in 2007, but didn't use it much after he was inundated with anti-Semitic comments.

“My account was basically unused because I was getting dozens of replies every day from people who thought the account belonged to the state of Israel," Meléndez told the Times.

The Spanish-born Melendez, who owns at least one porn website, lives in Miami, and conducted the negotiations with the Israeli Foreign Ministry from the consulate in Miami.

Earlier this month, Israel officially took over the Twitter account. A spokesman for the country wouldn't say how much they paid for the account, only that "it was not pro bono."

"We thought we could put it to better use than he did,"  spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

Melendez said the selling price was "adequate."

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