Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair called left-wing organizations and politicians "traitors" in a Facebook post on Monday. The post also chided members of the Israeli media and people who sympathized with Palestinians for acting against "Jewish interests."
Netanyahu wrote that "Now finally this word is allowed, I’ll say what everyone in the country knows. Left-wing NGOs funded by foreign and hostile governments, the politicians on the left and media people who always side with the enemy and always against Jewish interests, whose hearts are hardened against victims of terror, settlers or victims of infiltrators, and on the other hand whose hearts are full of compassion for every Arab rioter wounded on the Gaza border – they are the traitors!”
A few hours later, Netanyahu senior wrote on his Facebook page that he “rejects the use of the term ‘traitor’ by any side in the political debate. Unfortunately, others use this word all the time. Ever since the submarines investigation, in which the prime minister was never a suspect, Ehud Barak, left-wing activists and others accuse Prime Minister Netanyahu of ‘treason.’ The media has not said a word about that. Apparently they believe the word ‘traitor’ can be used as long as it’s directed against Prime Minister Netanyahu.”
Earlier Monday, Netanyahu testified in court in his libel suit against social activist Abie Binyamin, using words that earned him a rebuke from the judge.
“Abie Binyamin is the scum of the human race,” Netanyahu said, to which the judge responded: “Watch the language. There’s no place for such statements.”
- 'Witch hunt': Netanyahu blasts 'tainted' investigation after police recommend bribery charges
- Jews thrived on insulting each other. Now toxic discourse is tearing them apart, Tablet editor says
- Netanyahu's son might be his downfall
Netanyahu is suing Binyamin for 140,000 shekels ($37,378) for posting on Facebook in August 2016 that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked the Mossad to issue his son a passport under a false name for security reasons, “to protect his licentious son who goes around the world, so he’ll have a false identity.”
Judge Avi Shalev suggested that any damages awarded would be donated to an apolitical organization. However, Netanyahu turned down the idea and said: “I want a harsh verdict and proper compensation.”
Before entering the courtroom, Netanyahu was met by some protesters in the hallway who heckled him and called out “Bibi is a thief,” and “Bibi is a traitor.” Netanyahu gave them the finger in response.
Binyamin also wrote in his August 2016 post that the passport “became an exercise in fraud by the Netanyahu family to raise taxes, launder money and receive payments from all kinds of interested parties.” After Binyamin was threatened with a lawsuit, he erased the post.
Binyamin claimed in his defense that he is not an investigator or a journalist and so the post in question was not subject to the rules of journalism, and that it consisted of news reports. He apologized for the post in the past, and in court yesterday he apologized again and said the source from which he took the information might not be able to prove it true.