Netanyahu smiling 311.
(photo credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
State of Israel
Bonds - Europe denied on Thursday the allegations made by Channel 10's
Raviv Druker that money meant to fund Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu's travel was used so his wife, Sara, could join him,
unbeknown to the organization.
"Israel Bonds has invited
Netanyahu and his wife to events abroad according to the acceptable
protocol observed by previous governments and ministers," the
organization said in a statement.
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"Thus," the Bonds spokesman explained, "we invited Netanyahu and his
wife to London in 2004, and we were happy to have him participate in an
event during the war in August 2006."
The organization explained
that Netanyahu is an especially popular lecturer, and that Israel Bonds
was prepared to pay for his wife to travel in cases when Netanyahu
received funding from the Knesset.
Two weeks after first airing
the “Bibi Tours” allegations, Channel 10’s Druker alleged Wednesday
night in another episode of the news-expose show Hamakor that on two
occasions before he became prime minister, Netanyahu billed different
organizations for the same flight.
According to the report, in
one of the cases, Netanyahu attended a fundraising event in the US in
2006 for the Ashdod Medical Center, billing it $8,237 for the flights.
He also allegedly billed the Jewish Heritage Foundation the same amount
for flights taken on the same dates.
If correct, this would
contradict statements made last week by Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, that
there was no double-billing involved in flights Netanyahu took.
According to Wednesday’s report, one organization funded Netanyahu’s
flight and another organization funded his wife’s flight, even though
both invoices were signed under Netanyahu’s name.
Netanyahu’s lawyer David Shimron responded by saying that the
then-opposition leader acted according to the law during all his trips.
“There was not one agora of double-billing,” Shimron said. “A number of
different organizations divided the travel expenses for the prime
minister and his wife.
This is an untrue report, with the goal of defaming and harming the
prime minister; otherwise it is hard to understand why the channel is
determined for the second time to broadcast a report that is not true.”
Shimron said the Netanyahu family will file a libel suit over the report
broadcast two weeks ago, as well as the one aired Wednesday night.