Netanyahu son under fire for crude online post
Since becoming an adult, the eldest son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly drawn media criticism for what has been portrayed as a life of privilege at taxpayers’ expense.
Yair Netanyahu, 26, has been described as someone who hobnobs with world leaders and enjoys a statefunded bodyguard, while living at the prime minister’s official residence.
But his recent behavior, including a crude social media post, has now drawn public rebuke from the children of a former Israeli leader, along with threats of a libel suit. It has also revived criticism of the Netanyahu family’s perceived hedonism and sense of entitlement, at a time when the prime minister faces multiple corruption allegations.
Israeli police on Thursday disclosed that Netanyahu is suspected of fraud, breach of trust and bribes in a pair of cases, just as his son was being pilloried in the press.
The younger Netanyahu hit the tabloids last weekend when a neighbor posted an account of how he refused to pick up after the Netanyahu family dog at a public park and then, when confronted, gave the neighbor the finger.
Yair Netanyahu then lashed out on Facebook at a website run by a liberal think tank that detailed what it said was his lavish lifestyle at taxpayers’ expense.
In the post, Netanyahu alleged the site is funded by what he claimed are foreign interests, referring indirectly to the dovish New Israel Fund, which he renamed the “Israel Destruction Fund.” He signed the post with emojis of a middle finger and a pile of excrement.
Avner Inbar, the chairman of the Molad organization that runs the site, said they had served the younger Netanyahu with a notice of intent to sue if he does not retract his comments. He said Molad stopped receiving money from the NIF last year and that the posts “had no iota of truth to them.”
He also said their item on Yair Netanyahu was the most viral in their four years online and viewed by 1.25 million Israelis.
“It’s probably because his antics have just irked so many Israelis,” said Inbar. “It’s not just that he lives off the taxpayers in an unprecedented fashion but that he thinks he belongs to the royal family and is therefore immune from criticism. He thinks he is above the people.”
The New Israel Fund noted that Yair Netanyahu posted the comments on Tisha B’Av, the day Jews mourn the destruction of their biblical Temples, brought upon by internal divisions and hatred.
“On this day ... it would be appropriate for the prime minister to educate his son to spread the love of Israel,” the fund said in a statement.