Sara Netanyahu Recorded Losing Temper: 'I'm an Educated Woman, a Psy-cho-lo-gist!'

According to Walla news, Benjamin Netanyahu's wife yelled at an aide after a gossip column failed to describe her as a psychologist. Prime Mininster: This is a defamation campaign

Sara Netanyahu, January 22, 2018.
Olivier Fitoussi

Sara Netanyahu was recorded losing her temper at a Netanyahu family aide, according to a tape from 2009 released Sunday by the Israeli news site Walla. According to the report, the aide facilitated the publication of a gossip column which mentioned the Israeli prime minister's wife, but reportedly failed to properly state the fact that she is a trained psychologist.

Netanyahu is heard yelling in the recording, "This must be stopped. I am doing it! As a professional, as an educated woman, as a psychologist." Netanyahu then yelled out her credentials: "B.A! M.A.! That's it!"

Sara Netanyahu's recording (Hebrew)

In response, the aide is heard saying: "But it says in the first sentence that you're a psychologist," to which she answered: "No." The aide continued, saying that "in the first sentence [it says that] you're a psychologist."

Netanyahu is then heard asking the aide to rebuke the reporter who published the piece, asking "Is he going to get a call from you reprimanding him?" Netanyahu was also angry at the article mentioning that she is obligated to perform public service in her role as the prime minister's wife, asking: "Why? why? This prime minister's wife does public service every day! In her professional capacity! I can't!"

The Netanyahu family said in response: "Enough with the secret recordings and the breach of privacy for the sake of smearing the Netanyahu family." The response added that "Sara Netanyahu devotes a considerable amount of her time to take care of children, families and the system around them as an expert psychologist. This is a biased and cruel publication of secret recordings from nine years ago."

In a Facebook post Sunday, Prime Minister Netanyahu called the report "a continuation of the "wild and violent defamation campaign against my family." According to Netanyahu, the publication of the tape is part of a continued effort to topple his government, waged by "the same media that for decades has ignored my wife's public service for cancer-stricken children, bereaved families, the elderly and Holocaust survivors." "Who hasn't lost their temper and said some words they didn't mean?" he asked.

On several occasions in the past, there have been reports of Netanyahu's involvement in matters of official state appointments. Haaretz reported that she was present in a meeting between the prime minsiter and the would-be state comptroller Joseph Shapira.

Maariv newspaper previously reported that she insisted on joining a classified work meeting between the prime minister and former Mossad chief Meir Dagan. According to the report, the prime minister asked Dagan to continue talking in her presence, though Dagan refused. The two had a falling out from that point until Dagan's death in 2016.

Other reports detailed the humiliating manner in which she treated those around her, including her employees. The state was ordered to compensate two former workers at the Prime Minister's Residence, Meni Naftali and Guy Eliyahu, after a court ruled they suffered from abusive employment. The two went as far as to claim that she hit another former employee. Last year, another former employee, Shira Raban, filed an additional lawsuit claiming abuse.

In 2015 Maariv published a transcript of a call between Netanyahu and Monique Ben Melech, wife of former Sderot mayor Eli Moyal. In the call, Netanyahu scolded Ben Melech over her husband's criticism of the prime minister's conduct during the war in Gaza.

In the transcript, an angry Sara Netanyahu is cited extolling her husband's virtues: "The man took the entire State of Israel on his shoulders, he sends troops to battle, acts with extraordinary political wisdom, he's read tons of books, he understands economics, he understands security, he's got university degrees ... He knows how to talk to world leaders. The whole world worships him. Who's your Eli Moyal? He can't hold a candle to Bibi."