Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is probably the most criticized and attacked prime minister in Israel’s history. Of course, being on the job for 12 years and 85 days (as of today) does lend itself to much reproach, certainly in the hurly-burly world of Israeli politics.But criticism of Netanyahu often goes beyond mere disapproval of policy, of this strategy or that tactic. It’s as if his detractors are on a campaign to impugn not only his politics, but everything about him: what he buys, what he wears, his relationship with his wife, his kids, his cabinet ministers, his party officers, his staff – every single detail of his life. How important is it for us to know how much he loves pistachio ice cream? And it doesn’t stop with the prime minister. Everyone connected to Netanyahu is subject to the same scrutiny – first and foremost his wife, Sara. The latest accusation revolves around an incident reported by Haaretz, in which Sara allegedly tried to physically assault Eli Groner, director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office; according to sources in the PMO, Groner was forced to hold her off until another official separated them.According to the sources, Groner had considered resigning immediately, and talked it over with Netanyahu’s chief of staff, Yoav Horowitz, who said he would inform the prime minister about what happened. Horowitz reportedly promised that Netanyahu would ensure that such an incident never happened again.The US-born Groner – who last week announced his resignation as director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office, effective later this year – has denied that the alleged altercation took place. The Netanyahus – while stopping short of directly denying the report – also denounced the story, issuing a statement last Thursday when the story first broke saying the allegation was “more fables, Sarna-style,” referring to Igal Sarna, a journalist who lost a libel claim by the prime minister against him last year.We don’t know if the story is true. Considering how much petty peddling of gossip and innuendo surrounds them, we were cautious about even printing it.Later that day though, the Netanyahus issued a video in response to the report, with the two of them standing together in a hallway against a wall, facing the camera and belittling the claim. Sara accused the media of constantly blowing stories about her out of proportion, and that the media has been spreading its “delirium of lies for the last 20 years – tendentious lies. The Israeli media is so wicked to me. The proportion shows how petty, delusional, and small this is.”Alongside her, the prime minister said he was waiting for the day when the Israeli media would write something true about his wife, “as a wife, mother and daughter; as someone who does so much good for the Israeli public, with bereaved families, Holocaust survivors, and more.” That day, he added, is a long way off.What made this video objectionable was the way it was done.That hallway was not just some floor in the Prime Minister’s Office, and that wall behind them was not just a blank wall. That 53-second low-quality video clip was shot outside the home of Ronen Lubarsky, the soldier who died after being critically injured during an arrest raid in the West Bank; on the wall over the prime minister’s left shoulder was the death and shiva notice posted by the Lubarsky family. And when the Netanyahus finished their address on camera and walked out of frame, the camera lingers on the death notice.This wasn’t happenstance. This is a prime minister who by every measure is the smartest, slickest media-savvy politician this country has ever seen – witness his carefully choreographed and rehearsed April presentation on Iran’s nuclear program.Last Thursday’s video, however, was nothing short of a cynical manipulation of the grief of a soldier’s family.Defending oneself is understandable, but this was not the way to do it. The Netanyahus should have known better.