Mideast Daily News

As New Party Loses Strength, its Leader Lashes Out at Netanyahu’s Son

By Michael Friedson | The Media Line

March 13, 2019

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu watches his son Yair Netanyahu cast his ballot with by wife Sara Netanyahu at a polling station on election day on January 22, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel. Israel's general election voting has begun today as polls show Netanyahu is expected to return to office with a narrow majority. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

The 20s-something son of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, controversial in his own right known for his acerbic posts responding to those he sees as attacking his family, has emerged as a full-fledged campaign issue after the candidate who is giving his father a run for his money directed a negative campaign charge his way. Benny Gantz, a former army chief-of-staff who had been polling strongly with his new party but has seen his strength decline since joining forces with a marginal party in an effort named after the nation’s flag – “Blue and White” – admonished the PM to “take control of son Yair’s mouth and keyboard.” The tiff over “Netanyahu Junior” has apparently fell flat, but for some, it marks the entry into the big leagues of the next generation of Netanyahus. Yair literally grew up in the epicenter of the nation’s political landscape. In the current incident, he criticized the president for agreeing with an actress’s criticism of his father for his support for a law that says Israel “is the nation-state of the Jewish people” alone. The liberal daily Haaretz read the incident as an indication that Gantz will be relying on negative messaging. His party has lost significant ground in the past two weeks with the election less than a month away. Israelis are accustomed to seeing heated criticism of Sara Netanyahu – the PM’s wife and a target of the political left.

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