Leave Sara Netanyahu Alone

Eyal Megged
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Eyal Megged

It would seem that all the horror stories about Sara Netanyahu are baseless, mean-spirited gossip. After all, if it were true the country's news media would not rest until the prime minister’s wife left public life. The public, which is represented by the media, would not tolerate for a moment being controlled by two prime ministers instead of one. The public and the media would not stand for Sara Netanyahu taking part in all her husband’s decisions - and not just taking part but actually dictating his actions.

Take Naftali Bennett, for example. How is it that claims that Netanyahu agreed to meet with Bennett only after Bennett apologized to the prime minister's wife, expressed his remorse in public and even excoriated her critics were met with equanimity? As if it is taken for granted that the way to the prime minister is through her. As if there is no problem with the fact that nothing important happens without Mrs. Netanyahu’s approval, at least when it comes to personalities.

Has some invisible hand trained our rebellious media so well that they have stopped needling the prime minister about his wife's increasing involvement in increasingly numerous aspects of his job? Isn’t it strange that instead of addressing Sara Netanyahu’s involvement in government affairs they pounce on trivialities like her unfortunate dress choice for the Knesset swearing-in ceremony earlier this month (and by the way, Bennett’s pot belly, which bursts out of every shirt he wears, is not a glad sight worthy of public display, particularly when one considers the relative youth of the belly’s owner), or an unquenchable passion for sweets and for dry cleaning?

The obvious conclusion is that these things never happened. Sara Netanyahu, as she repeatedly presents herself, is just a child psychologist for the Jerusalem Municipality, modest and shy. She is not and will never be involved in government, as she is constantly said to be.

It is inconceivable for anyone to represent her as unbalanced, with a faulty reality detector and a skewed sense of justice, whose hair-raising stunts in Israel and abroad, on land and in the air, make one's ears burn just to hear them reported, while at the same time accepting her involvement in critical affairs of state.

If this is not just idle gossip, it is a serious national failure of existential proportions, and it demands a serious response, not jokes.

To joke and move to the next agenda item, to slander and accept: Such a response is inconceivable.

And so, to sum up: Either the stories about Sara Netanyahu are true, and the scandal is that they are only mocked, or the stories are themselves a mockery, in which case the carnival must stop - even if, in this Hebrew month of Adar, we are enjoined to mock and ridicule.

Sara Netanyahu at 19th Knesset swearing inCredit: Emil Salman