Israeli Journalist Raviv Drucker May Sue Netanyahu

Channel 10 reporter says prime minister distorted facts in his responses to accusations regarding connections with Australian billionaire James Packer.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his family, December 1, 2014.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his family, December 1, 2014.Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
Nati Toker
Nati Tucker

Journalist Raviv Drucker may file suit against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following a series of critical statements the latter made about him, unless the premier corrects what Drucker says are factual errors. Netanyahu made the statements both on his Facebook page and in a response submitted Monday to Channel 10.

“Maybe I’m nave but I’m demanding that Netanyahu correct the factual errors in his letter and apologize for them,” Drucker told Army Radio, addressing, among other things, Netanyahu’s allegations that Drucker has influence in the State Comptroller’s Office. “He knows I haven’t spoken to the state comptroller in years, because I’ve already written to him that that’s the case, and I have never appointed any childhood friend to any position and I’m not involved in the comptroller’s office.”

On Monday night Drucker reported on Channel 10 that Yair Netanyahu, the prime minister’s son, had stayed last summer in an apartment belonging to Netanyahu confidant, the Australian billionaire James Packer, at the Royal Beach Hotel in Tel Aviv. According to Drucker’s report, Packer owns a house in Caesarea adjacent to the Netanyahus and that occasionally Netanyahu holds weekend meetings in Packer’s home.

The report also said that a few months ago Packer’s lawyer, Jacob Weinroth, met with Interior Minister Arye Dery and asked him to grant Packer, who is not Jewish, permanent residency in Israel, which the interior minister is authorized to do. Weinroth was previously Netanyahu’s attorney.

Weinroth was quoted as saying that Netanyahu had never spoken to him about the matter. The report stated that Packer has yet to be granted residency status.

In response, Netanyahu told Channel 10, “It’s shocking to see the moral depths to which ‘journalist’ Raviv Drucker has descended. From the morbid and obsessive pursuit of the prime minister and his wife, Drucker is now moving to smear their student son and their combat soldier son.

“We speculate that the reason for the new level of Drucker’s muck stems from a Facebook post by the prime minister, referencing an investigative report of Drucker by Moshe Ifergan on the Mida website. The report exposed Drucker’s meddling in the State Comptroller’s Office, including his pressure and unprecedented phone calls with the comptroller, along with the appointment of a childhood friend of Drucker’s, who founded with him the Movement for Freedom of Information on Netanyahu, as the comptroller’s office legal adviser.

“The investigative report also revealed the incredible funding Drucker’s group got from the New Israel Fund and from the EU.

“Yair is a student and a private citizen and doesn’t owe Drucker any answers to his questions, but since Drucker presented us with so many distortions and lies that aimed to paint a false picture, we will go the extra mile and state: Mr. Packer is a family friend. Yair is a student at the Hebrew University and lives in Jerusalem. He has the right to be a guest of friends and of family friends outside Jerusalem from time to time (and not for a month as was falsely claimed), just like Drucker is hosted by friends or family friends from time to time when he is out of Tel Aviv.”

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