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Netanyahu Family Won't Bow to Media Blitz

08-09-2017
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and His Wife, Sara, Photo, GPO, Avi Ohayon
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and His Wife, Sara, Photo, GPO, Avi Ohayon

JERUSALEM, Israel – "AG to announce indictment against Sara Netanyahu over alleged misuse of state funds," a headline on an Israeli website read.
 
"[Attorney General Avichai] Mandelblit is expected to announce his decision soon, following the completion of a police investigation into Mrs. Netanyahu's alleged misuse of state funds, which reinforced the original recommendation of the Jerusalem district attorney and the state prosecutor to indict her," YNet reported.
 
To its credit, the post included the Justice Ministry's clarification, albeit in the last paragraph.
 
"We wish to clarify that at this stage, the attorney general's decision has yet to be made," the statement read, noting it will be announced when it occurs.
 
One Israeli attorney, who asked not to be named, told CBN News there's really nothing to talk about "when and until the attorney general issues an indictment." Until then, it's all projection.
 
But that doesn't seem to faze the media's unrelenting maligning of Sara Netanyahu. One commentary in the Times of Israel compared her with Marie Antoinette.
 
"The Israeli first lady is accused of using government money to pay for private chefs at family events, a caregiver for her father and weekend electrical work at the couple's home in the tony [sic] coastal town of Caesarea," author Ben Sales wrote. "The allegations have long dogged Sara Netanyahu, who sometimes comes off in the Israeli media as the country's Marie Antoinette."
 
The allegation is the latest in a string of accusations against the Netanyahu family, which many say are nothing more than a witch hunt.
 
"Basically there's no question that she [Sara Netanyahu] may have acted in a manner that might have offended some people, but it is absolutely no grounds for the witch hunt that is taking place against her," veteran Israeli author and political analyst Isi Leibler told CBN News. "In normal circumstances this would have been totally ignored and this has been blown up totally out of proportion by those who are trying delegitimize the prime minister."
 
Attorney Yossi Cohen, who represents the family, asked, "How far will the persecution of the Netanyahu family go: to the cup of tea the housekeeper served Mrs. Netanyahu's 97-year-old father, who lived in her home while on his deathbed?"
 
The problem facing the media is the Israeli public's support of the prime minister.

In an op-ed entitled "Netanyahu is different," author Amnon Lord wrote, "That is why Netanyahu's voters have no regrets and may even support him more forcefully now. Not only that, it appears he is growing stronger. The police and the State Attorney's Office are faced with a problem because people view his [Netanyahu's] actions favorably. There is still also an open question as to the motives behind the various investigations against him," the author states.
 
"Unlike [former prime ministers Ehud] Barak, [Ehud] Olmert and [Ariel] Sharon, Netanyahu has not buckled under the pressure. He has kept his integrity and stuck to his guns on the economy, his policies and his overall strategy, and it appears that he has served Israel well over the past eight years. The proof: people want to take him down," he concluded.
 
Meanwhile, Netanyahu vowed neither he nor the Likud Party will bow to the pressure. On Wednesday evening, the party will hold a rally in the Tel Aviv Convention Center.
 
"This is a battle over public opinion and against the Left and the media, who are trying to create a crisis atmosphere out of thin air," Israel Hayom quoted Likud coalition chairman David Biten as saying.
 
Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis followed suit in an interview with Army Radio.
 
"Applying more pressure on Netanyahu will only make him more popular," Akunis reportedly said. "About a million people have said they personally trust Netanyahu and they are telling you the exact opposite of what you have been saying."

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