ofer lefler 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appointed veteran publicist Ofer Lefler as the
spokesman of his family Wednesday after Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein
advised him that he must stop using government spokesmen to respond to claims
regarding the matter of Tara Kumari, a Nepalese nurse who cared for Sara
Lefler is a former spokesman for the Turkel Committee
that investigated the handling of last year’s Gaza flotilla, the Prisons
Service, and former public security ministers Avi Dichter and Uzi
He is also a frequent critic of the Netanyahu government’s
policies, both as a commentator on Channel 2 and on his personal Facebook page.
Lefler attended recent demonstrations against the government’s socioeconomic
policies and praised the demonstrations afterward.
“This is a moment that
reminds me of the November 29, 1947, United Nations vote that enabled the Jewish
people to build their home,” Lefler wrote on his Facebook page after the August
6 Tel Aviv mass protest.
“Immigrants, veterans, Ashkenazim and Sephardim
of all ages came together with kippa wearers, traditional Jews, haredim, and
Arabs and voted with their feet on their will to live here in a more respectful
way. It’s a great feeling to belong to such a society.”
Lefler wrote on
July 30 that when he marched in a river of people down the streets of Tel Aviv,
he felt that “perhaps from here a revolution will really begin.”
Netanyahu family’s new spokesman was also critical of the government’s policies
on other issues. When Channel 2 reported that hundreds of Palestinian prisoners
would be released, he noted that more than 4,000 Palestinian inmates had been
freed prematurely since the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad
Lefler called the decision to release the prisoners “a
Lefler also fiercely criticized Netanyahu’s coalition partner
Shas on Channel 2 after the party’s religious services minister, Ya’acov Margi,
came out against the housing demonstrations.
“Margi, like Islamic
extremists, aims at the lowest rungs of the poorest sectors and ignites hatred,”
Lefler said. “Mr. Margi, don’t enflame the ethnic tensions you make a living out
The time has come for Ashkenazi and Sephardi native Israelis and
Russian and Ethiopian immigrants to tell you and Shas ‘enough of the hatred that
you ignite. We are sick of you.’” Shas spokesman Roy Lachmanovich responded that
“I can only hope that the advice [Lefler] gives the prime minister will be wiser
and deeper than his shallow sociological commentary.”
Lefler reacted to
the criticism by saying that his role with the Netanyahu family has nothing to
do with the government’s policies. He said he stood by what he said on TV and
wrote on Facebook and that he did not intend to take down any of his
controversial statements from his Facebook page.
“I am not a spokesman
for the government,” Lefler said. “I am a private citizen hired by the Netanyahu
family. I won’t deal with any issues related to the government, only the crisis
that the Netanyahu family is currently dealing with.”Joanna Paraszczuk
contributed to this report.