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Netanyahu’s son Yair attacks Bennett on US TV as ‘puppet’ PM of the radical left

In interview with far-right One America News Network, ex-premier’s son says new government is ‘very dangerous,’ lacks public legitimacy

Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair, in an interview with a US media outlet, described the current Israeli government as the most radical, left-wing and Islamist in the country’s history, and led by a “puppet” of the left.

Netanyahu told the far-right One American News Network on Friday that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government does not have legitimate support from the public.

In his first interview with US media since his father was ousted from office last month after 12 years in power, the younger Netanyahu lashed out at Bennett and his coalition partners.

Bennett, he said, agreed to form a coalition with “all the left-wing, communist, most radical parties in the Israeli parliament” to “become their puppet prime minister.”

Ra’am, an Islamist Arab party whose inclusion in the government was vital for gaining a majority in the Knesset, is a “sister party to Hamas,” the terror group that “supports terrorism, visits terrorists in prison that murdered Israeli children and called them heroes, openly calls for the destruction of Israel and creating a shariah country of Palestine on its ruins,” he said. (Former PM Netanyahu had tried in vain to persuade Ra’am to join a coalition that would have kept him in power.)

“This is a very dangerous government that doesn’t enjoy public legitimacy and public support,” Yair Netanyahu said, and painted it as “the most radical, left-wing Islamist government in Israel’s history.”

“We already see they are planning to legislate very totalitarian laws to make sure the head of the opposition, my dad, won’t be able to run again,” he said, referring to government plans to introduce term limits for the prime minister’s role.

Netanyahu also characterized Israeli media as “horrific.”

“They were killing my dad for all these years,” and “really doing shameful things” under the claim that the role of media is to criticize the government, he accused.

Yet now they are “only singing praises for the government and attacking the head of the opposition, my dad,” Netanyahu said.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett leads the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on July 4, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“It looks now, since the formation of the new government, like North Korea television,” he said.

Yair Netanyahu has a history of posting incendiary messages on social media, and he tweets fast and often against those he believes have wronged him and his family, leading to a slew of libel lawsuits and legal threats against him, the most recent being last month.

Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton filed a libel suit of NIS 500,000 ($154,000) against Netanyahu after he said “people died” as a result of actions she took when chairwoman of the Knesset’s coronavirus committee.

Shasha-Biton had angered the premier’s allies by striking down several measures passed by the cabinet when she chaired the committee.

The new government includes eight parties from the left, right, and center. During his own coalition-building efforts aimed at staying in office, then-prime minister Netanyahu courted at least four of the parties now in the government that replaced him.

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