Sara Netanyahu calls herself a 'battered woman,' receives backlash

"I feel like I've gone through sexual assault," Sara Netanyahu said and added that she's "going through a difficult time."

Sara Netanyahu (C) stands next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (photo credit: REUTERS/CARLOS BARRIA)
Sara Netanyahu (C) stands next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu's wife, Sara Netanyahu, in an interview with N12, shared details about the complaint she filed with police on Tuesday over harassment directed at herself and on social media ever since the Balfour protests began several weeks ago.
"I feel like I've gone through sexual assault," Netanyahu said, adding that she's "going through a difficult time."
Netanyahu said that she constantly feels threatened. "Security is not so tight," she said. "Don't forget that I'm not always at home. I'm not protected like the prime minister is." 
She referred to two incidents that led her to file the complaint. The first, was a "social media post that called on people to rape me," she told N12, adding that "it was written in such a harsh way and with such degrading words."
The second, referred to an incident that happened several weeks ago as part of the Balfour protests outside the Prime Minister's Official Residence on Balfour street in Jerusalem. "... they really tried to throw torches inside the house and broke a police detective's legs," she said.
Netanyahu added that she feels frustrated over the incitement that has been directed towards her family, on social media and during protests, while expressing shock over the lack of condemnation from across the political spectrum.
"The condemnation should be coming from all women, from everyone. It should be heard from all sides. I would expect the MKs that speak about women's rights, like Zandberg and Michaeli, to come to my side."
Netanyahu's interview on Wednesday attracted criticism after she referred to herself as a battered woman and described the protesters as people "on drugs," who may harm her family and herself. "I'm a battered woman and my kids are going through abuse," she told N12. 
Hagit Peer, president of Na'amat, an Israeli women's organization that was founded in 1921, criticized Netanyahu's remarks.
"Mrs. Netanyahu is not a battered woman. Using that term disrespects it and Mrs. Netanyahu, who has visited women's shelters in the past, should know this," Peer said.
"Regardless, any suspicion of harassment or violence against Mrs. Netanyahu must be investigated and I congratulate the decision by the police to investigate an alleged sexual assault expressed in a social media post directed against the prime minister's wife," she added.
The Black Flags movement, considered a major organizer of the Balfour protests, also criticized Netanyahu's remarks and their implications.
"The corrupt prime minister's wife from Balfour claims that she is a battered woman and that the protesters are on drugs. There's no end to the incitement coming out of Balfour. Mrs. Netanyahu, the failed and corrupt governance of your husband is abusing citizens and turning many of them into unemployed and hopeless people. You're a liar and an inciter just like your husband," a statement by the Black Flags movement read.