Sara Netanyahu: Claims I threw Bibi from motorcade are 'delusional'

The prime minister and his wife arrived in court for a defamation lawsuit regarding claims of a legal marital agreement between the two of them.

 PM Benjamin Netanyahu entering the courtroom before testifying in a defamation lawsuit, January 23, 2023. (photo credit: REUVEN KASTRO)
PM Benjamin Netanyahu entering the courtroom before testifying in a defamation lawsuit, January 23, 2023.
(photo credit: REUVEN KASTRO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara testified in a defamation lawsuit on Monday morning about an alleged secret agreement that detailed marital obligations between the two, which was filed by the PM's cousin and ex-lawyer against a former Export Institute Chairman that claimed to have seen the document.

According to the document that ex-Export official David Artzi claimed to have seen, Netanyahu was allegedly contracted by his wife not to travel overnight without her and to involve her in senior government appointments, under legal pain of the transfer of their joint property to her. The senior appointments allegedly would include Mossad, Shin Bet and IDF heads, according to Israeli media.

The alleged document

"This agreement did not exist and was not created," said Sara Netanyahu. "It's not nice to say that there is an agreement between spouses. There was no agreement and no lawyer will see an agreement."

Benjamin Netanyahu called the allegation “shameful.”

“There is no agreement between me and my wife,” testified the prime minister. “This is a despicable claim.”

Sara Netanyahu entering the courtroom before testifying in a defamation lawsuit, January 23, 2023. (credit: REUVEN KASTRO)Sara Netanyahu entering the courtroom before testifying in a defamation lawsuit, January 23, 2023. (credit: REUVEN KASTRO)

Netanyahu challenged the supposed provision of the alleged agreement that held that Sara would have significant sway in the appointment of officials by giving an example when they disagreed appointing former prime minister Naftali Bennett as Defense Minister. Sara had been against the appointment.

“After all, if there is a contract between Sara and I that she appoints [officials] -- Bennett would not have been appointed,” Netanyahu testified. “She is my best advisor. I take her advice, and I regret not listening more. Maybe I would be in a better situation today.”

He also explained that there was no agreement needed to explain why Sara would travel with him so often, saying “I like my wife to accompany me. She is the closest person to me.”

Netanyahu decried a three-year-long campaign of libel against him, accusing countless leaks of having come from law enforcement. 

“I didn't file enough defamation lawsuits,” said Netanyahu. “Count the number of news features on prime time against me – 561 articles in three years. There is not a single public figure in the world who has gone through such a thing.”

One of these alleged defamatory leaks was the claim that Sara had kicked Benjamin out of his own motorcade. 

Sara dismissed the claims, calling them "delusional." She asserted that his security team would have prevented such an action, "if I threw him out of the motorcade they would shoot me." Netanyahu repeated this point, adding that the story was a “lie.”

The prime minister condemned the portrayal of his wife in the media, singing her praises.

"Sara adds real value to the relationship of the State of Israel with foreign leaders. She makes a personal connection with a lot of leaders. She has this wisdom of the heart which is an asset to the State of Israel,” said Netanyahu. “What is being done here is a terrible thing. My wife gives her all, she takes care of children in Jerusalem, as a psychologist who gives them help every day."

Artzi claimed that he had seen the document when David Shimron allegedly showed off his legal skills demonstrated in the document. Shimron was allegedly seeking Artzi's aid with employment, Ynet reported.