Netanyahu's Son Yair Attacks Israeli TV Broadcaster, Calls Her 'Crude Beast'

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Yair Netanyahu.
Yair Netanyahu.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son, Yair Netanyahu, sparked controversy this week after he publicly lashed out at Israeli television broadcaster Ofira Asayag in a sharply-worded Facebook post. 

"Ofira Asayag is a crude beast and has reached the point where she is having an affair with a married man," the premier's son wrote.

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Netanyahu, who is the prime minister's elder son, is known for his controversial statements and was the target of critcism earlier this year after the Israel Television News Company published a recording in which he was heard discussing Israeli business interests amid an outing to strip clubs to which he was accompanied by a state-funded bodyguard and driver. 

In the recording Netanyahu was heard telling the son of Israeli businessman and gas tycoon Kobi Maimon outside a strip club that the prime minister set up $20 billion for the latter's father.

This week Netanyahu went after Asayag when the latter interviewed Likud activist Orna Peretz, the woman who interrupted the prime minister's speech last week over the closure of an emergency room in northern Israel.

Peretz, who Netanyahu rebuked and said was "boring us" with her complaint, appeared on the Israeli TV program "Ofira and Berkovic," where she spoke to Asayag about the incident.

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Ofira Asayag and Eyal Berkovic on their show "Ofira and Berkovic."Credit: Screenshot of Channel 12

In his Facebook post, Netanyahu wrote that "The only reason "Keshet" [Israeli broadcasting operator] broadcasts this sub-par [show] is because of the incitement against my father and our family, and against the right-wing public. It is gearing toward the left in order to be accepted by the sickening barrage."

Asayag responded to his post on her Instagram account. "I am struck by the great gap between the high intelligence, sharpness and eloquence of a younger Benjamin Netanyahu, with the idleness and boredom of Yair Netanyahu: when at the age of 27, his father was already commanding a [military] team in Sayeret Matkal. Yair Netanyahu lives at the expense of the public, the bored ... " she wrote.

"There is no doubt that he inherited his genes from his mother," she concluded.  

In the past six months, Yair Netanyahu has been working as social network coordinator for the Tel Aviv-based civil rights NGO, Shurat HaDin. The rights organization focuses on representing terror victims and is headed by Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.

Yair Netanyahu responded to Asayag's Instagram post with a different Facebook post, which had replaced the original one.

"Ofira doesn’t seem to get enough screen time every Friday in order to incite and spread poison against me, against my family, and against the Israeli right. By the way, my mother is the first working wife of a prime minister, and there is not a week in which she doesn't accompany children sick with cancer, Holocaust survivors, and lone soldiers. She has a Master's degree in psychology (yes, you know the joke, I am sure that you never got upset in a phone call). Maybe my post made you think a bit about how I feel seeing your poison and incitement against my parents, and to all of your program!" he concluded. 

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