Netanyahu’s son, Yair, is suing his former driver for recording unsavory remarks he made while partying with friends a few years ago.
By Jack Gold, World Israel News
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair on Sunday filed a NIS 1 million lawsuit against the driver he claims recorded him in July 2015 while he was bantering with friends on the way to a club in Tel Aviv.
In the lawsuit, Netanyahu maintains that the driver violated his trust, invaded his privacy, insulted him and caused “real aggravation for the sake of money.”
According to the lawsuit, Netanyahu junior was traveling with his friends to entertainment venues in Tel Aviv. Joking around with his friends after having had a few drinks, he made lewd remarks, which the driver illegally recorded. Months later, the media published the recorded conversation.
The recording 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 made disparaging comments about strippers, waitresses and other women.
He was also heard drunkenly bragging to the son of Kobi Maimon, an Israeli oil tycoon, that the prime minister advanced a bill in parliament which, Yair apparently believed, had delivered billions of dollars to Maimon.
“My dad arranged $20 billion for your dad, and you’re whining with me about 400 shekels,” Yair Netanyahu said, referring to money he had borrowed from Maimon.
The suit alleges that the driver was not “the owner of the conversation” and therefore needed permission to record it. Netanyahu’s attorney, Amit Hadad, claims that since the publication of the recording, Yair “has had difficulty leaving his home for several months, completely avoiding public and private events and experiencing a severe sense of breach of trust and suspicion.”
Media-orchestrated witch hunt
The prime minister, who has repeatedly attacked the media for its alleged 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, adding that 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.
Netanyahu said his son’s comments were the result of alcohol consumption and that he was raised to respect women.
In further comments, the premier said he had no connection to Maimon and was unaware of their sons’ friendship. Furthermore, he said, his son had no knowledge of the gas deal and that his own backing of expanded natural gas extraction did nothing to benefit Maimon.