Sara Netanyahu’s aide suspended over online tirades against ‘leftist traitors’

Series of inflammatory Facebook posts defending the PM use terms like ‘traitors,’ ‘treasonous kikes,’ scum’ and ‘fifth column’

Sara Netanyahu and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak to the press from the tarmac at Ben Gurion International Airport on September 3, 2023. (Carrie-Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)
Sara Netanyahu and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak to the press from the tarmac at Ben Gurion International Airport on September 3, 2023. (Carrie-Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)

An aide to Sara Netanyahu was suspended for 14 days Sunday, for a series of inflammatory Facebook posts lashing out at so-called “leftists” amid the ongoing war in Gaza sparked by the Hamas terror group’s shock assault in southern Israel.

The decision was made by Yossi Shelley, the director general of the Prime Minister’s Office, after a number of posts by chief of staff Tzipi Navon used the terms “traitors,” “treasonous kikes,” “scum” and “fifth column.”

In one Facebook post denouncing a group criticizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the October 7 Hamas massacre, Navon wrote that “traitors from the left are continuing to incite” against the premier.

In another post she wrote that Channel 12 and 13 were trying to “divide and harm Jewish morale” during the current war with Gaza, and separately called Channel 12 “fifth columnists.”

In yet another post, Navon reposted a picture of body bags, ostensibly of victims of the Hamas massacre, writing: “Well pedophile-lovers, Brothers in Arms, the air force and army enlistment refusers, are you satisfied now???”

Brothers in Arms was a group formed by reservists opposed to Netanyahu’s plans to overhaul the judiciary, which was seen as a leading force behind massive demonstrations against the government. The controversial legislation sparked vows by reservists in the air force and army to stop showing up for volunteer duty, charging that the government’s plans to weaken the judiciary would turn Israel into an undemocratic country.

A screenshot of Tzipi Navon’s Facebook profile photo (used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The suspension was not the first time Navon was reprimanded for sharing incendiary social media posts and offending opponents of the prime minister. According to the complaint, she was accused of insulting several ministers, Knesset members and government officials in 2019 over the phone.

In 2022, she committed not to share further such harmful sentiments, the complaint noted.

Sara Netanyahu’s chief of staff is a state-paid position in the civil service, working as an employee in the prime minister’s residence, which is under the authority of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Navon has worked with Sara Netanyahu since 1996.

The Netanyahu family has had several run-ins over incendiary Facebook posts. In September 2023, the Netanyahus’ son, Yair Netanyahu, shared a social media post against the imprisonment of a Jewish terrorist convicted of murdering three members of a Palestinian family by firebombing their home in a West Bank village in 2015.

Sara Netanyahu herself has been a vocal opponent of protesters who regularly gather outside the family’s official and private residences, accusing them of threatening violence and inciting against her and her family.

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