Netanyahu's Wife Attacks Journalists: Why Don't You Write About Rivals' Bedrooms?

Sara Netanyahu slam reporters who work for pro-settler, religious news website as 'leftists,' saying they ‘work for Bennett,’ and taking aim at Israel's justice minister: ‘You call that a pretty woman?’

Sara Netanyahu and Ayelet Shaked
Tomer Appelbaum, Nir Kedar

Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, blasted reporters who were waiting on Sunday to interview her husband for "working for [Education Minister Naftali] Bennett," seen as one the prime minister's main political rivals.

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Ms. Netanyahu told the two reporters, who work for Israeli pro-settler, right-leaning website Srugim, who came to the prime minister's official resident in Jerusalem: "You work with Bennett and [Justice Minister Ayelet] Shaked. Why don't you write about their bedrooms?"

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Shaked ran the Netanyahu’s bureau from 2006 to 2008, when he was opposition leader, and is rumored to be at odds with Sara Netanyahu.

When Shaked, now co-leader of Hayamin Hehadash alongside Bennett, came to work at Netanyahu’s bureau, Ms. Netanyahu asked to “check who is going to work for the prime minister,” she told the reporters, adding  she scheduled a meeting with Shaked, after which she said: “You call that a pretty woman? Why would you say she’s pretty?”

The prime minister’s wife also talked with the two journalists, Atara German and Or Israeli – aligned with Israel’s religious right – about Bennett’s wife Gilat, after they suggested to Netanyahu that she grant interviews like Bennett’s wife does. “You’re leftist. You work for Bennett,” Ms. Netanyahu told them.

The translation of the name of Bennett's party is "The New Right."

One of the employees at the prime minister’s residence tried to soothe the prime minister’s wife, to no avail. Subsequently, the prime minister’s social media adviser, Topaz Luk, said that Mr. Netanyahu was giving an interview and asked her to join.

Following the interview with the prime minister, one of Netanyahu’s public relations people, Nevo Katz, asked the two reporters not to report on their conversation with the prime minister’s wife.

On Tuesday, Channel 12 News reported that Ms. Netanyahu tried to dig up dirt on Bennett six years ago. A letter Netanyahu penned ahead of the 2013 Israel election reveals her handwritten request to find damaging information on Bennett and wife Gilat.

According to the report, Netanyahu tapped a businessman associate, who in turn hired a private investigator to gather information on Bennett – Benjamin Netanyahu's bureau chief in 2006-2007, who was reportedly fired after clashes with Mrs. Netanyahu.

Netanyahu in response claimed that timing of the leaked report, less than a week before Israelis go to the ballot, was "curious." 

She also said that the letter "contains requests to journalists to ask questions" about Bennett, rather than any demand to dig up information.