Nobody is around to tell Sara Netanyahu PM plane isn't hers, Caspit says

Journalist Ben Caspit said during a Friday interview that his fellow reporters are scared of, and fed up with, the alleged behavior of the Prime Minister’s wife.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
August 24, 2019 04:01
3 minute read.
Nobody is around to tell Sara Netanyahu PM plane isn't hers, Caspit says

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to reporters before embarking on a trip to Ukraine with his wife, Sara, August 18, 2019. (photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)

“There is nobody around anymore to tell Sara Netanyahu that the plane used by the prime minister and the Balfour residency [of the PM] is not her private property,” reporter Ben Caspit said on Friday during a radio interview on 103 FM, Maariv reported. 


In Israel, it was reported that Sara Netanyahu attempted to enter the cockpit of the plane to confront the pilot and was held back, after he failed to respond to her greeting. 
“I am saddened that out of the entire team of reporters that were on the plane, not a single one stepped forward and said: “Yes, it happened,” Caspit said. 
 
“I say that the reporters are afraid, I also say that the reporters are fairly fed up with the whole thing, and I also say that these are mainly signs of desperation,” he said. 
 
Caspit wrote two books about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The first, titled The Road to Power, was co-authored by Ilan Kfir and released in English in 1997; the second, The Netanyahu Years, came out in English in 2017. He is a well known criticizer of the Israeli leader, who has now surpassed the country’s founder David Ben-Gurion as Israel's longest serving head of state.


Caspit was sued in 2010 by Sara Netanyahu and again in 2018 by the prime minister. The first lawsuit ended with a settlement and an apology by Caspit, who claimed that the premier attempted to either scare him off or keep him quiet with the later lawsuit. 
 
“I get nothing from talking about these issues,” he said on the radio. “There’s a feeling people no longer care.” 
 
He claimed that the wife of the prime minister carries a great deal of weight in the decision making process, the time tables and who is appointed to positions of power. 
 
“Today we know it’s not only her,” he said, “there is now a supporting member in the form of her son [Yair Netanyahu].”
 
Legally, a prime minister's immediate family is able to live in the official capital residency with no age limits. The Netanyahu family, however, is the only one so far to have an adult child stay there. By living in the official home of the elected leader of the country, 28-year-old Yair is able to allegedly enter closed meetings and speak with his father as he likes, despite not holding any official title or rank.

Caspit also spoke about the recent, diplomatically embarrassing incident where Mrs. Netanyahu was filmed, during an official welcoming ceremony when they landed in the Ukraine as part of an official state visit on August 18, tossing a piece of bread on the ground that her husband gave to her. This was the first time in 20 years that an Israeli prime minister has visited Ukraine, and the Israeli leader and his wife were greeted in the traditional way with bread and salt. 


Perhaps due to a faulty debriefing on Slavic traditions, the prime minister tore a piece out of the festive loaf of bread and didn’t dip it in the offered salt before eating it. When he gave some to his wife, she refused to taste it and instead threw it to the ground, in an incident that was aired on television and garnered much media attention.  


Caspit discussed the upcoming re-do elections, saying that “the graveyards are full of people who tried to guess what [head of Yisrael Beytenu Avigdor] Liberman wants to do.” 
 
He suggested that Liberman is “getting even with Netanyahu over a large historical saga of incidents where Netanyahu treated him badly, by promising various things... or a thousand and one things.” 
 
He also spoke about former prime minister Ehud Barak, who is also the subject of two books by him, calling him “a tragic figure.” 
 
Barak “felt like this is the end of the age of Netanyahu,” Caspit said, “and he wanted to take part in the historical moment of taking him out of the stage on which history is made.” 
 
He predicted that if Netanyahu will be able to form a government, Barak will leave politics as he did in the past. 
  



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