Sara Netanyahu Reportedly Rebuked Bereaved Parents, Called Them 'Ungrateful'

Incident occurred two years ago, Channel 10 reports, when PM's wife spoke with Leah Goldin, whose son Hadar's remains have been held by Hamas since 2014

Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu at a Fourth of July event in July 2018.
Ilan Assayag

Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, called the mother of a fallen soldier to admonish her for inviting Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to speak at a memorial service, Israel's Channel 10 News reported on Sunday.

The incident occurred two years ago, according to the report, when the prime minister's wife called and spoke with Leah Goldin – whose son Hadar's remains have been held by Hamas since 2014 – following a remembrance ceremony. Netanyahu allegedly made it clear that she was unhappy about the invitation extended to Shaked and called the Goldins "ungrateful." The report quoted her as having said: "Your alliance with my husband's enemies could damage the efforts the prime minister is making regarding the issue."

Representatives of the prime minister denied the report, saying that Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, whose remains are also in the hands of Hamas, "are in the hearts of Sara Netanyahu and the prime minister, and any other statement is incorrect and does not reflect the connection that has been made with the family."

Earlier Sunday, Zehava Shaul, Oron Shaul's mother, said that the prime minister had once shouted at her and her husband and called them liars. "He was red and pounded on the table – 'that's not how you speak to a prime minister,'" Shaul said. The prime minister denied the claim, saying Netanyahu "never shouted at bereaved families and didn't level accusations against them."

Asked about the claim in a radio interview, Leah Goldin appeared to back it up, asking: "Why just at her? You think we didn't get our own dose?"

Both mothers, as well as Goldin's husband, Simcha, held a press conference on Sunday in which they said that a potential cease-fire deal with Hamas that does not entail the release of the soldiers' remains would be unacceptable.

"It's been four years of trying to move a wall," Goldin said in the radio interview, "and that wall is Bibi Netanyahu." Accusing Netanyahu of seeing to "his selfish interests" and abandoning soldiers, Goldin said that her late husband "died of a broken heart because his friend Bibi Netanyahu of Likud betrayed him."