Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu stand next to the dedication plaque of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, after the dedication ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018..
(photo credit: ILLUSTRATIVE/RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended his wife publicly on Monday, for the first time since Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit announced on June 21 that he was indicting Sara for fraud and breach of trust.
Speaking to the Likud faction, Netanyahu blamed the indictment on the media, which he said have been trampling his wife’s image for more than 20 years.
“The truth that the press ignores is that Sara is a wonderful wife and mother, and she was a terrific daughter to her parents,” Netanyahu said. “She helps grieving families, lone soldiers, children suffering from cancer, Holocaust survivors, and battered wives. When she goes to grieving families, she doesn’t do it just to write down a check-mark.
She stays in touch with them for years, helping them.”
Dozens of Likud central committee members in the room applauded Netanyahu for thanking them for showing support for his wife. Central committee members then shouted at the media who were covering the event.
Mandelblit’s indictment accuses Sara Netanyahu of fraudulently obtaining NIS 359,000 from the state for hundreds of prepared food orders while also employing a private chef. Her fraud trial is set for July 19.
According to the monthly Peace Index poll of the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University that was published Monday, 47.5% of the public think Sara Netanyahu should be indicted, while 32.5% think she and her family are being hounded by the press.
The majority of Israelis (55%) believe the prime minister was aware of his wife’s actions of misusing public funds for catering services, while 28% believe he did not know.
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