Likud: Sara Netanyahu won’t impact coalition

Party MKs, activists express concern PM would form coalition with Center-Left parties over wife's dislike of Bennett, Deri.

Binyamin, Sara Netanyahu arrive in Amsterdam_311 (photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershon/GPO)
Binyamin, Sara Netanyahu arrive in Amsterdam_311
(photo credit: Amos Ben-Gershon/GPO)
Sara Netanyahu will not be involved in her husband’s decisions about what parties to include in his next coalition if he wins the January 22 election, sources close to the Netanyahu family in Likud said Tuesday.
Likud MKs and activists had expressed concern in recent days that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would end up forming a more dovish coalition with multiple Center-Left parties, because of his wife’s personal dislike for the leaders of Bayit Yehudi and Shas.
Arye Deri of the Shas leadership triumvirate recently insulted Sara Netanyahu, telling an interviewer that he does not bring his laundry abroad to be cleaned at a five-star hotel. She was accused of doing so in reports by Channel 10 about millionaires funding the Netanyahus’ vacations, which became known as the Bibi-Tours scandal.
The reports led to an investigation by the current and former state comptroller and a forthcoming criminal probe by the State Attorney’s office.
Sara Netanyahu had an ongoing dispute with Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett and Knesset candidate Ayelet Shaked when they ran Binyamin Netanyahu’s office, when he was opposition leader. The dispute centered on how they were paid and how much she interfered in her husband’s schedule.
“Sara couldn’t stand Naftali and Ayelet from the moment they started work,” a source familiar with the situation said. “Sara kept on changing the schedule about who Bibi [Binyamin Netanyahu] could see and not see. Naftali wasn’t able to work. She saw Naftali and Ayelet as having too much ambition.”
The prime minister’s closest associates also blamed Bennett and Shaked for leaking information in the Bibi-Tours scandal to Channel 10.
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A source close to the Netanyahu family said speculation about which parties would be in the coalition was merely political spin of the parties themselves.
The source said that Binyamin Netanyahu was not yet dealing with building his coalition and that his wife was not and would not be involved in deciding the makeup of the next government.
“The woman is not in politics,” the source said. “Her husband is in politics, but Mrs. Netanyahu is not. She does not deal with building the coalition.”