Yair Netanyahu’s New Job: Giving Lectures on Geopolitics to Tourists in Israel

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his son Yair visit the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his son Yair visit the Wailing Wall in JerusalemCredit: AFP

Yair Netanyahu, the elder son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has begun giving lectures on Middle East geopolitics over the past several weeks. Israeli tour guides have recently received offers from an agency that organizes trips for tourists to include a lecture on geopolitics by the prime minister's son.

The details of Netanyahu's fee and business arrangement with the agency are unclear. One of the tour guides who received the offer wondered in a discussion of the matter in a private WhatsApp group: “What qualifies him to lecture on geopolitical issues?”

As far as is known, this is the first job Yair Netanyahu has ever had, or at least the first serious job since he was a student at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he studied international relations. His younger brother Avner, who tries to stay out of the spotlight, works as a waiter in a Jerusalem café.

Netanyahu, 27, has become more and more involved in politics in recent years. In 2015, he was involved in the Knesset election campaign on behalf of Likud. Media reports said he tried to convince his father to shut down Channel 10. Yair is also thought to be the person behind the “Muezzin Law” banning calls to prayer form mosque loudspeakers late at night and very early in the morning, as well as having influence over his father’s stance concerning Sgt. Elor Azaria, the IDF soldier who shot an immobilized Palestinian terrorist in Hebron.

Nir Hefetz, the former Netanyahu family media adviser who turned state’s witness against Netanyahu, said that Yair and his mother Sara were involved in two security decisions in which the prime minister decided against the positions of his professional advisers on the matter. Benjamin Netanyahu has denied these claims.

Yair Netanyahu lives in the Prime Minister’s official residence in Jerusalem. He is guarded at all times and has an official driver and use of an official car. The prime minister’s two adult children are the first ones over 18 to receive official protection. The government has refused to release the costs of this protection.

He has also been linked to the corruption affairs in which his father is being investigated. He stayed, both in Israel and abroad, in apartments owned by Australian billionaire James Packer, one of the businessmen suspected of providing the Netanyahu family with various benefits in what is known as Case 1000. He gave his testimony in the case. In March, Yair was questioned “under caution” by the police as a criminal suspect in the Bezeq telecom graft case known as Case 4000.

A media storm erupted in January after the publication of a recording in which Netanyahu is heard bragging to Nir Maimon, son of gas tycoon Kobi Maimon, on how the prime minister got Maimon $20 billion in a "sweet" gas deal. Theconversation took place after the two left a strip club, and were heard objectifying women. The Prime Minister’s Office published an apology following the recording's release. Yair Netanyahu said he was drunk at the time and was talking nonsense that never should have been said and does not represent his values.

Click the alert icon to follow topics: