Watchdog Asked to Probe Netanyahu Family's Use of State Resources to Monitor Media

Following Haaretz report, MK Nachman Shai (Labor) wants to know whether government staff is being used for 'inappropriate' purpose.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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Nachman Shai
MK Nachman Shai.Credit: Michal Fattal
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

MK Nachman Shai (Labor) on Tuesday asked State Comptroller Joseph Shapira to look into a government division’s collection of press reports about personal matters of the Netanyahu family.

The proposed inquiry is tied to the efforts of the information and communications technology department of the National Public Diplomacy Division.

Haaretz reported that the Prime Minister’s Office uses employees from the unit to monitor the Israeli media for items about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, and their children.

“The division’s job is to monitor reports on the national level and to provide the government as a whole, and its leader, with a picture of the media’s agenda,” the MK wrote to the comptroller.

“But this morning it was reported that this role has been completely distorted. Division employees, whose salary is paid by the state, were instructed to set different goals and to report on any press items related to the Netanyahu family. On the face of it, national state resources are being used for private purposes.”

In the letter, Shai called on Shapira, who is a retired judge, to immediately investigate “whether the financial resources that the state allocates to information and communications are indeed being directed for appropriate national purposes or are being used to serve an inappropriate and faulty agenda.”

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