A video making waves on social media in recent days claims that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara have a legal contract between them that gives her sweeping control over core aspects of Israel’s national affairs. This includes provisions for her to sit-in at top-secret meetings and to sign off on appointments of the heads of the Mossad intelligence agency, Shin Bet domestic security service, and the Israeli military.
In the video, David Arzi, former vice president of commercial and civil aviation at Israel Aerospace Industries, explains how he came to see the clauses of what he says is a 15-page contract that bears both their signatures. Arzi says he was allowed to read the document in 1999, during Netanyahu’s first stint as prime minister, by Netanyahu’s longtime lawyer and cousin David Shimron.
Arzi claims Shimron had recently been fired from a job and was trying to impress him with how deeply connected he was to the prime minister.
According to Arzi, the contract also includes the prime minister promising that any trip with an overnight stay will include his wife.
“She can take part in all the most secret meetings, even though she does not have security clearance. That jumped out at me,” Arzi says in the video, part of an interview in Hebrew with journalist Dan Raviv. (Below)
“She authorizes the following appointments, the head of the Mossad, the head of the Shin Bet and the IDF chief of staff. And that is in writing, she has to give the authorization in writing, if not, it is a violation of the contract,” he said, adding that “violation would mean he forfeits all their property to her.”
The alleged contract further makes various stipulations that give Sara major control over the couple’s finances.
“There was a very detailed section that she would handle their finances,” Arzi said. “It was written how; that he would not have credit cards, only she would. And if he needed money she would give it to him.”
Journalist Ben Caspit, who has written a biography of Netanyahu, published the results of two polygraph tests taken in recent days by Arzi that found him to be telling the truth.
Netanyahu’s office strongly denied the claims, saying they are “a complete and recycled lie that will be handled legally.”
Shimron also called Arzi’s comments a “blatant lie.”
“I have never drawn up an agreement between Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu, I have not seen an agreement drawn up by someone else and I certainly have never shown such an agreement to anyone,” he said, threatening to sue Arzi for libel.
The allegations are not the first time that Sara Netanyahu has been accused of wielding control over her husband, including in affairs of state.
In a leaked transcript from the police investigation into corruption charges against Netanyahu, Miriam Adelson, the wife of the late casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, told interrogators that Sara had vetoed Netanyahu forming a coalition with current Yamina candidates Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, both of whom formerly worked as Netanyahu aides.
“I was furious after the previous election when he [Netanyahu] was refusing to not build a coalition with Bennett because she [Sara] hates him,” Miriam Adelson said, in an apparent reference to the post-2015 election coalition negotiations when the prime minister reportedly weighed not including them in his government.
“I mean, the fate of the Jewish people is doomed because the lady hates Bennett and Shaked, so he does not make a coalition with the right man who fits,” Adelson told investigators.
In other leaked transcripts, Sara Netanyahu told police that the couple had not had credit cards for 15 years because they kept losing them.
In June 2019, Sara Netanyahu was convicted of misusing public funds as part of a plea deal in a case involving allegations she illegally procured and then misreported catering services at the Prime Minister’s Residence.
The agreement saw Netanyahu escape a conviction of aggravated fraud, but confess to a lesser charge of taking advantage of a mistake. She was ordered to pay NIS 55,000 ($15,210) to the state — NIS 10,000 as a fine, and the rest as restitution.
The prime minister is also currently on trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three criminal cases. He denies the charges against him.