Netanyahu Junior publicly apologized for unsavory remarks he made while partying with friends a few years ago.
By: AP and World Israel News Staff
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair on Tuesday apologized for offensive and lewd remarks he made while partying with his friends in Tel Aviv a few years ago, which were recorded and published, probably by a disgruntled driver.
The 2015 recording, aired Monday night, sparked public outrage over its misogynistic content and raised questions over why a state-funded bodyguard and driver were necessary for the premier’s son.
The younger Netanyahu issued an apology, saying the remarks did not represent the values he was raised on and were made under the influence of alcohol.
In the recording, Netanyahu and his friends recount their night out on the town and make disparaging comments about strippers, waitresses and other women.
He is also heard drunkenly bragging to the son of Kobi Maimon, an Israeli oil tycoon, about how the prime minister advanced a bill in parliament that the younger Netanyahu appears to believe delivered billions of dollars to his friend’s father.
“My dad arranged $20 billion for your dad, and you’re whining with me about 400 shekels,” Yair Netanyahu says, referring to money he borrowed from Maimon.
Media-orchestrated witch hunt
The prime minister, who has repeatedly attacked the media for its bias against him, issued a response after the recordings were released, calling them the height of a media-orchestrated witch hunt aimed at ousting him and saying the press had stooped to unprecedented “persecution, bloodletting and shaming.”
“We have no intention of addressing the cheap and malicious gossip regarding snippets of jokes that were made after a night of drinking that don’t reflect Yair’s positions and were taken out of context from an illegal and tendentious wiretap,” read a statement from the family.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu said his son’s comments were the result of alcohol consumption and that he was raised to respect women.
In further comments Tuesday, the premier said he had no connection to Maimon and was unaware of their sons’ friendship. He added that his son had no knowledge of the gas deal and that his own backing of expanded natural gas extraction did nothing to benefit Maimon.
He also accused a disgruntled driver in the prime minister’s office of making the illicit recording and attempting to sell it for a profit — and demanded that Channel 2 disclose how much it paid for it.