Instead of holding his tongue, and thanking the good Lord and the exhausted, hesitant, merciful prosecution for the VIP criminal procedure it granted his wife, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chose the second option, the one close to his heart: Slandering law enforcement and baseless, ridiculous self-pity.
“Today the hunting season has ended,” said the prime minister about the revelation of the criminal, embarrassing acts by “my Sara,” and her trial that ended with a light punishment.
He chose to make the outrageous announcement at the end of a cabinet meeting that took place in the Golan Heights to mark the naming of a new community after U.S. President Donald Trump. The obsequious gesture to the high commissioner in Washington, which will be remembered as an especially embarrassing moment in Israeli history, took on another grotesque dimension in the video the prime minister posted to the nation, with the Golan Heights landscape in the background.
One can assume that given a choice, media-message wiz Benjamin Netanyahu would have never mixed milk and meat, or two unrelated species. He would not have allowed the conviction of the criminal at his side to ruin the (forced) celebration of the inauguration of Trump Heights – a name about as classy as the president himself – with a whining statement. But nowadays, who even asks him.
He apparently startled himself, and moments afterward his bureau issued two diplomatic statements, the first about the naming of the community and the second about the oil tanker attacks and Iranian aggression. There are priorities, after all: Sara first, the world afterward.
It’s ridiculous to even recall how Yitzhak Rabin responded when then-Attorney General Aharon Barak decided to prosecute his wife, Leah, on a technical foreign currency violation. (Rabin resigned, without jumping on the legal authorities and humiliating them with abuse and defamation – and he didn’t love his wife any less.)
Only this weekend this newspaper reported extensively how Sara Netanyahu drove a devoted, loyal public servant crazy and (along with her other half) led him to resign the post of director general of the Prime Minister’s Office. On Sunday she confessed to a criminal violation for which she will pay a respectable fine, even if it doesn’t come close to the charge she would have faced if she hadn’t been the prime minister’s wife – namely, theft.
The signal to let loose against the court was given by flatterer-attorney Yossi Cohen; after she had confessed and was convicted, he ran to the microphones outside Judge Avital Chen’s courtroom and ridiculed the imaginary hunt conducted against “my lady.” This may not be contempt of court in the technical, legal sense, but the spirit of the comments by him and the prime minister is exactly that.
Incidentally, the use of the charged term “hunting season” by Netanyahu, Sara and their spokesmen isn’t innocent. Every old Herut member remembers the days of the “saison” against the Etzel and Lehi underground organizations during the prestate era. The British hunted the activists down and Mapai members, the 1940s’ elite, helped hand them over.
Indeed, we have returned to the days of the underground: Our fighters Bibi and Sara are being pursued by the rulers of their country, betrayed by their brothers and sisters, with no one to save them from the cruel jaws of the law.
And who better to express this reality than contemporary political poet and philosopher, MK Miki Zohar. In a special announcement, he ruled that the “courageous confession,” which he said “was made against her will,” came only to end years of hatred and persecution of the couple. “History will judge you,” concludes Zohar, with a statement that’s half threat, half chilling prophecy.
Meanwhile, the husband of the criminal, who is himself up to his ears in alleged offenses, some of which are a result of the same stinginess, arrogance and hedonism that have become the couple’s trademark over the years, called her a true heroine.
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