Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair hinted that state prosecutors who were involved in the decision to charge his father with bribery, fraud and breach of trust need to be tried for treason, and if found guilty, sentenced to death.
The younger Netanyahu made the comment on a talk show on the right-wing Gali Yisrael station.
“There was a malicious coup d’état here,” Yair Netanyahu said of the decision to indict his father. “They knew they were setting up an innocent man who happened to be the prime minister elected by the Israeli people. That means they were canceling a democratic election made by the people. That is called treason. And everyone is invited to look up the law and see what the punishment is for treason. I’ll just say that it is not prison time.”
The punishment for treason in Israel is death.
Yair Netanyahu's influence over father's policies
Yair Netanyahu is known to be extremely influential in his father’s policies and political decisions. The son’s hard line against the legal establishment has been increasingly adopted by his father, as if he was following his son’s lead after he tested the waters for him with trial balloons. Likud figures said a year ago that it was no coincidence that the prime minister started to regularly and publicly attack the legal establishment after Yair’s influence increased.
Yair Netanyahu has also found himself in legal trouble in the past. He recently lost a libel suit brought against him by a former journalist whom the younger Netanyahu had called a mole working with the state prosecution against his father.
The incoming prime minister distanced himself from his son's comments on Monday morning, tweeting that "whilst everyone has the right to voice their opinion, I disagreed with his comments published yesterday."
אני אוהב את בני יאיר שהוא אדם עצמאי עם דעות משלו. אף שזכותו של כל אדם להביע ביקורת, לא הסכמתי עם הדברים שאמר שפורסמו אתמול.— Benjamin Netanyahu - בנימין נתניהו (@netanyahu) December 26, 2022
"Yair is an independent person with his own opinion," Netanyahu added.