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Man charged with harassment for threat to sexually assault Sara Netanyahu

55-year-old Givatayim resident indicted over 2019 tweet in which he said he was ‘so patriotic’ that he would rape the then-prime minister’s wife

Sara Netanyahu at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery, in Jerusalem, on June 16, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Sara Netanyahu at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery, in Jerusalem, on June 16, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

A man was indicted on Sunday for harassment over a tweet in which he graphically threatened to sexually assault Sara Netanyahu, the wife of the former prime minister.

Boaz Drori, a 55-year-old resident of the central city of Givatayim, was charged at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court over the tweet he posted in 2019.

In the tweet, Drori, who had around 1,000 followers on Twitter, described a sexual act that he would perform because he was “so patriotic,” effectively threatening to rape the then-prime minister’s wife for the sake of the nation.

“In the act described, the defendant sexually harassed Sara Netanyahu by addressing her with contempt, and with degrading treatment of her gender and sexuality,” the indictment read.

The tweet received 22 likes, 23 comments and eight retweets.

In August 2020, after Drori was first questioned, then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote to Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit, accusing him of “scandalously” ignoring threats against him and his family, and claiming he was putting them at risk as a result.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara at the swearing in ceremony of the 23rd government in the Knesset on May 17, 2020. (Alex Kolomoisky/Flash90)

Netanyahu wrote: “Zero action on your part in the face of calls to murder me and my family and rape threats against my wife amounts to nothing less than to scandalously allow the spilling of our blood.”

“Every woman, regardless of status and role, deserves to be protected. She is entitled to have the law enforcement agencies you head prosecute those who engage in such heinous violence,” Netanyahu wrote.

In a response, Mandelblit told the then-prime minister that there was no basis to the claim, while Netanyahu’s opponents said that the accusation was a “calculated” attack on the attorney-general due to his decision to indict Netanyahu over alleged corruption.

The next day, Sara Netanyahu said in an interview that she experienced sexual violence from demonstrators rallying against the premier.

“I certainly feel that I have experienced sexual violence,” she said, noting “the terrible march of the balloons [shaped like sex organs] and the [social media] post to rape me, which used explicit and crass language.”

Netanyahu has made several complaints to police over threats to harm him and his family.

Meanwhile, a number of members of the cabinet, as well as officials involved in Netanyahu’s ongoing graft trial, have extra security due to threats against them and their relatives.

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