After years of negative publicity about Sara Netanyahu in the media, the Israeli leader took to social media to defend his wife and slam journalists for their “vicious and venomous lies.”
In the most recent development concerning the corruption case against the wife of Benjamin Netanyahu, concerning the alleged misuse of public funds for catered meals at the prime minister’s residence, she was convicted Sunday at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.
According to the plea deal, Sara Netanyahu will pay NIS 45,000 (about $12,500) as compensation to the state as well as a fine of NIS 10,000 (appr. $2,777).
“They poured out my client’s blood. NIS 20 million was spent in this investigation. They interrogated her as if she were the head of a criminal organization. What did they find at the end? A few trays,” Defense attorney Yossi Cohen adding that the goal was to topple the prime minister.
On Sunday morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Facebook and Twitter to blast the media and defend his “beloved wife,” calling her “a true heroine” for enduring years of “slander.”
Reminiscent of U.S. President Donald Trump’s attacks on the media and charges of “fake news,” Netanyahu denounced “an ugly practice has developed in the media” in recent years.
According to Netanyahu, “Every time that somebody around me – and sometimes it is somebody not around me – leaves his position or is not chosen for a position, the media breaks out in a uniform chorus: ‘Sara is guilty’ or ‘It’s all because of Sara.’”
The prime minister continued:
“It does not matter that in many cases, Sara does not know the people, nor does she know that the appointment process is taking place for the positions in question.
“For example, when the new head of the Mossad met Sara for the first time at a public event, he approached her to say hello. She asked him his name, and when he introduced himself and his position, they both burst out laughing because the media reported that it was Sara who had appointed him.
“This did not prevent another candidate for head of the Mossad a few years later to claim that the reason he was not appointed to the job was because he did not approach Sara.
“The same was true of someone who saw himself as a candidate for ambassador to the United Nations. When he did not receive the job, he also explained it as the objection of Sara, who did not know that he was a candidate for the job nor that there was an opening for the job.”
A ‘punching bag’ for ‘hateful’ journalists
“The facts and the truth do not matter at all. Sara has long been a punching bag for the media,” Netanyahu stated.
“The hateful commentators in television studios repeat the nonsense and incitement again and again…
“These are vicious and venomous lies. I am the one who decides, with a broad view of the totality of considerations, the appointments of the people whom I appoint. But this does not interest the toxic choir, which has recently become a destructive choir.
They no longer settle for venomous lies about Sara. Now they are also adding that employees are leaving because of the ‘destruction’ that I am supposedly bringing the country.
“At another opportunity, I will detail what I am doing for our country 24/7, and I will elaborate on the heavy price that my family is paying because of persecution in the media which does not hesitate in any way in its attempts to replace me with a leftist prime minister.
“But today I do want to tell you a few words about my wife, the daughter of her wonderful parents, may their memory be a blessing, and mother to our wonderful sons. I want to tell you, my dear friends, what the media has been hiding from you for nearly 20 years.
“That Sara goes three times a week, year after year, to her work as a psychologist in the public service. She goes quietly, modestly, away from the cameras, in order to help children and their parents.”
Helping children with cancer, bereaved families
Furthermore, Netanyahu wrote, “after working for hours, she helps children with cancer, bereaved families, lone soldiers, Holocaust survivors, and many other people in need. She doesn’t just meet them one time. Sometimes it is a relationship of support and friendship that continues for many years.
“I want to tell you about the profound and positive impression that Sara leaves on world leaders during my visits abroad. And about the wonderful and warm way that she hosts dozens of world leaders at the Prime Minister’s Residence, which helps advance our flourishing relations with these countries.
“Recently she represented Israel, together with a delegation of the Foreign Ministry, on a humanitarian mission to Guatemala after the volcano disaster in that country. She went there after being invited by the wife of the president of Guatemala, whom she hosted for a reciprocal visit in Israel just a few weeks ago.
“About all this, citizens of Israel, you will hear barely a word in the media.”
‘Shameful silence of women’s rights organizations’
“But we draw great strength from you, your support and love on social media, and our emotional meetings with you. You are not influenced by the wicked lies of the media and the shameful silence of women’s rights organizations,” the prime minister said.
“And here is the most astonishing thing: I do not know of any woman or wife who would have withstood for decades an endless shower of such false and wicked slander and character assassination – standing firm and continuing to help the needy, to be a devoted mother to our sons, and to give me support.
“My beloved wife, you are a real heroine,” he concluded.