PM calls on press to leave his family alone

In Germany, Netanyahu says his wife not involved in day-to-day running of state, but makes him a "more humane prime minister."

By
January 19, 2010 04:42
1 minute read.
Sara Netanyahu.

Sara Netanyahu. (photo credit: Jerusalem Post)

 
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu chose Berlin Monday as the venue to relate publicly for the first time to the lawsuit against his wife that was splashed across Friday's Yediot Aharonot, saying he had no doubt that the "truth behind this libel would come out."

"When someone goes into public life, he expects that he will be the target of attacks," Netanyahu said when asked about the matter at a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "But I think that he also can expect that there will be a limit to the attacks. A person's wife and children, his family, are not in the line of fire. Or, at least, they should not be placed in the line of fire."

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Netanyahu, slamming the paper without mentioning it by name, said he wanted to express his appreciation to those journalists who did not take part in what he said was an "unbridled and unjust attack on my wife."

The prime minister also made clear that, despite what had been said in the media over the last few days, his wife was not involved in the day-to-day running of the state, and to say otherwise was simply "absurd."

"But there is one area in which she does have influence on me," he said. "She tells me to be more attentive to others; to be attentive to the needs of seniors, children and Holocaust survivors; to be a better father, a better son and a better friend."

Netanyahu credited his wife with making him more sensitive and a "more humane prime minister."

To critics who Netanyahu said were attacking his wife in order to undermine him, the prime minister said, "Direct your attacks at me. Leave my wife and children alone."

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On Friday, a Yediot front-page headline quoted Netanyahu's housekeeper Lillian Peretz as saying, "Sarah abused me, humiliated and exploited me." It also quoted extensively from the lawsuit in which Peretz was claiming NIS 374,359 for a basket of grievances, including emotional damages of NIS 50,000.

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