Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night issued yet another heartfelt response to the public storm following the broadcast a week ago of his son Yair’s recording on a drunk night out on the town, elucidating about strip clubs, strippers, prostitutes, and tipping the 2015 natural gas deal in favor of the billionaire father of one of Netanyahu Jr’s fellow riders.
“Think how you would feel if your children were trampled with cruelty and viciousness that had no boundaries,” Netanyahu told reporters at Ben Gurion International Airport, before taking off for a state visit in India. Of course, none of the reporters in attendance were privileged to send their children out on Friday nights in a state-paid for car, chauffeur, and security guard, so the PM added, “I am saying this not only to the media, but also to public figures who tsk tsk hypocritically.”
Of course, as far as hypocrisy is concerned, there was plenty to go around at Ben Gurion Saturday night: Netanyahu Sr. noted that Netanyahu Jr. did not join the trip – was supposed to join his parents in their tour of the subcontinent, but at the last minute it was decided he should stay home, possibly to avoid potential questions from CNN, which has already dubbed the recording “Strippergate.”
“My wife and I stand here as the father and mother of a young son, a young boy who loves the State of Israel with all his soul,” the Prime Minister said—Yair Netanyahu is 27, by the way, an age when Emmanuel Macron had already served in the French embassy in Nigeria, earned a master’s degree in public affairs, and graduated from the selective École Nationale d’Administration.
“They are trampling our children with unbridled cruelty, wickedness and hypocrisy,” Benjamin Netanyahu pleaded his case, noting that not all of Israeli society was cruel to him and his loved ones, and, in fact, “many citizens in the State of Israel gave Yair and us a warm shoulder. It’s so human, against this inhumanity, and I want to tell them how much we value them.”
Among many other things, what upset most Israelis in the recording, was hearing Netanyahu’s son saying to his friend, the son of a billionaire with who the government had signed a deal to exploit the country’s underwater natural gas fields: “My brother, you have to support me – my father handed your father a great deal, he fought in the Knesset for it,” following which the cruelly persecuted child added, “My brother, my father has now arranged a $20 billion show for you, and you begrudge me 400 shekels?”
Netanyahu Jr. repeated this sentence several times, each time grating the ears of millions of Israeli taxpayers, who in 2015 had followed the suspicious deal, from which Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon had recused himself on account of his personal friendship with the same billionaire.
In an earlier tirade, last Thursday, the prime minister asked Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to consider legislation that would prevent such a thing occurring in the future (no telling what the jewel would be caught saying next time), and consulted his legal adviser on punishing the employee who had recorded his son in the summer of 2015.
Like someone smart once put it: there’s nothing you can’t do in a democracy…