Opinion

What Yair Netanyahu Learned at Home About Women

Just look at the father's record to understand the son's attitude

This file photo taken on March 18, 2015 shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his son Yair visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Thomas Coex/AFP

More than the degrading words and objectifying of women, more than the ugly bragging about his fathers involvement in arranging the natural gas deal, more than the pimping of his ex in order to impress his friends and more than the fact that all this was at the expense of the taxpayer – the part that annoyed me most in the sickening recording of Yair Netanyahu outside the strip club was not the transcripts, but the brazen reaction of the prime minister to this repulsive story.

My wife and I raised our children to respect every human being and to honor every woman, said the prime minister on Tuesday. This is why I strenuously object to the exclusion of women, working hard in many ways to empower women in the economy, the government, in academia, science, the army and the air force.

So much insolence, hypocrisy and smugness in one statement. Netanyahus lies have never maddened me more. The first part is false and the second will never happen. In the 11 years hes been in office as prime minister he hasnt lifted a finger to promote the struggle against violence towards women and has not even once voiced a clear moral stand against the culture of rape that is threatening to engulf Israeli society — a threat that has received attention in recent years only due to the tireless efforts of inspirational feminists. We didnt hear one word from Netanyahu about former President Moshe Katsavs case or the investigation into the conduct of former general and cabinet member Rehavam Zeevi. We didnt see even one tweet after the publication of harsh testimonies exposing sexual violence in the world of politics, the army, the entertainment industry, the police or nightclubs. Even his own bureau has no woman in a senior post – the inner cabinet he heads has one woman in it and his government of 22 ministers has only 4 women.

Ask any one of the feminist Knesset members who are working hard to promote legislation that will help protect women – they will tell you that not only did the prime ministers office not back their hard work, but the current coalition repeatedly blocks this important legislation.

Moreover, Netanyahu unabashedly backed two of his bureau chiefs who were accused of harassment and aggravated sexual offenses. After the resignation of Nathan Eshel in 2012, following revelations regarding his harassment of a female employee – photographing her under her skirt, going through her personal effects and emails and bullying her – Netanyahu parted from his confidant with a warm and friendly public hug, thanking Eshel for his dedicated and good work and extolling his important contributions. Not only did Netanyahu not condemn this thuggish behavior, he retaliated against the employees who exposed the documentation of the harassment, causing them to leave his bureau. After his resignation, Eshel continued working as an emissary or fixer for Netanyahu, even conducting some of the talks on forming a coalition after the elections. Last December we learned that our prime minister apparently has the time to invest in making and posting a video in which he is seen congratulating Eshel on his birthday.

Eshel was replaced by a no less problematic person, Gil Shefer, against whom two charges of sexual assault have been filed. One of the plaintiffs even sent Netanyahu a personal letter begging him not to let Shefer serve in a public post. He attacked me viciously and violently, bashed my head repeatedly, closing the door of the car when I tried to escape, ignoring my cries and pleas that he desist, she wrote. Its your obligation and duty not to lend support to men who act so brutally and cruelly towards women. I ask you to choose the moral path and not allow Shefer to serve in any public office or position of power. Despite this, and even after details of the investigation were transferred to Netanyahu, Shefer continued in his post for over a year and a half after the letter was received. At an event marking Shefers departure Netanyahu devoted some warm words to him and a short video was shown, in which Shefer was seen conducting a choir of bureau employees singing a song in his honor.

I apologize – I was wrong in writing that Netanyahu never expressed his objection to sexual violence. How can one forget the embarrassing post from May 2016, when he assailed the left and the media for not condemning the rape of a mentally deficient young Israeli woman by Palestinian youths? Netanyahu retracted his words the next day, when it turned out that the incident never happened. Thus, the only time he took a moral stand against sexual violence was in order to incite against Arabs and make some political mileage.

Oh yes, there was one more time Netanyahu showed some interest in the status of women. As first reported by Yossi Verter in Haaretz, the Israel womens lobby convened in his bureau in May 2016, to celebrate 30 years of activity. Representatives of the lobby told Netanyahu of their activities, noting some historic landmarks such as High Court of Justice rulings giving women fair representation on boards of directors and as combat pilots. At first Netanyahu praised their actions, then his tone changed and he began berating them, asking them why their lobby had never come to the defense of a talented and exceptional woman constantly under attack – namely, his wife Sara.

When this is the home in which Yair son­­­-of-a-bitch leftists Netanyahu was raised, its easy to understand where he learned that a woman is no more than an object meant to satisfy his pornographic needs.