What is the easiest way to delegitimize a group of people who have dedicated their careers to serving the State of Israel and its people? To accuse them of being part of a criminal cult and of working to undermine the country’s elected leaders. That is exactly what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair has been doing over the last year against graduates of the Wexner Israel Fellowship. In February, for example, Yair Netanyahu called the approximately 500 graduates a “cult of pedophiles” and called to pass legislation that would ban any of the graduates of the fellowship from serving in Israel’s Civil Service. “97% of Israel’s existential troubles would be solved,” he claimed at the time. Besides being outrageous, this type of rhetoric is dangerous. Among the hundreds of graduates of the fellowship are some of the most senior members of Israel’s public sector: IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi; Prof. Hezi Levi, director-general of the Health Ministry; and Dr. Maurit Beeri, director-general of Alyn Hospital. Is it really possible that the prime minister’s oldest son calls the commander of the IDF a member of a cult of pedophiles? Does anyone really think that Beeri, who runs a hospital that treats children suffering from the most heart-breaking of handicaps, is a criminal?Yair Netanyahu is an adult allowed to tweet what he wants. It is worth thinking through what it is like for Kochavi or Levi when they enter cabinet meetings with the prime minister and sit opposite the father of a person who calls them pedophiles. How the younger Netanyahu continues to write these vile accusations is shocking. Why does Netanyahu get away with using the term “pedophiles”? Because Jeffrey Epstein, the notorious sex offender found dead in his jail cell last year, used to be a business associate of Wexner Foundation founder Leslie Wexner. He never gave money to the foundation or managed its operations, but he did hold an administrative role confined to transferring money from the Wexner family to the foundation.The fellowship which Netanyahu and his son constantly attack was started over 30 years ago, when Wexner – an ardent Zionist – expanded his foundation’s goals to include fostering excellence in Israel’s public sector. He struck a deal with Israel’s Civil Service Commission to fund studies for promising public sector workers at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In return, the commission committed to reinstating the workers upon their return to Israel.What seems to really be happening is that the Netanyahu family is upset that some of the prosecutors involved in the criminal cases against the prime minister are graduates of the fellowship. There is Yonatan Tadmor, who was involved in Case 1000 (the “Illegal Gifts Affair”) and Cmdr. Eran Kamin, head of the Police Investigations Department, as well as other graduates who played a role in the conviction of Netanyahu’s wife Sara for misusing state funds. To do this, the Netanyahus have latched on to Epstein’s association with Wexner, as well as a $2 million payment made 15 years ago to former prime minister Ehud Barak for the writing of two studies: one on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the other on leadership. Last week, the foundation finally revealed what the payment, exposed last year when Barak was running for the Knesset, was actually for. Barak and Epstein not only knew each other but also apparently worked on business deals together. The payment plus the Barak-Epstein relationship has been used by the Likud to attack Barak. While there remain questions as to why the foundation would pay Barak so much money for two studies that were never made public, it is Wexner’s right. It is also important to remember that while $2 million is a lot of money, that is what former heads of state tend to get paid for books they write. Former president George W. Bush received $7 million; Hillary Clinton reportedly received $14 million. While these were for books published for the public, it is not automatically wrong for Wexner to decide to hire Barak to write a book for the foundation’s own private use. We can argue whether that is the right use of funds, but that doesn’t automatically make it illegitimate or mean that the graduates of the prestigious program are part of a cult. It is time that this campaign against Wexner graduates comes to an end. The only cult here is the one trying to destroy Israel’s dedicated civil servants.