Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, Yair, on Tuesday lashed out at a left-wing NGO after the group posted scathing criticism of his lifestyle in a social media post that has since gone viral.
Under the headline “5 facts about Yair Netanyahu, our national son,” the organization Sixty One castigated the premier’s son for living off his parents at the taxpayer’s expense, taking lavish vacations, seeking to influence his father, and encouraging the boycott of Arab-owned businesses.
Yair Netanyahu, already in the news over an incident in which he reportedly refused to clean up after his dog, slammed the group in a Facebook post on Tuesday, accusing the group of serving a radical left-wing agenda and drawing a threat of a libel lawsuit.
The post by Sixty One claimed that the younger Netanyahu wields growing influence over his father, particularly regarding media matters.
According to Sixty One, Yair Netanyahu was responsible for his father’s softened stance towards Elor Azaria, the IDF soldier convicted of shooting dead a disarmed Palestinian attacker last year.
The group also quoted several of Yair Netanyahu’s social media posts in which he called Arab business owners “bastards” and slammed the “left-wing authorities” for turning a blind eye to Arab-on-Jewish crime.
Sixty One said a number of Yair Netanyahu’s ski vacations abroad were the most expensive trips ever paid for by the Defense Ministry.
It also noted the numerous times Yair Netanyahu has stayed at properties owned by Australian businessman James Packer, a suspect in a corruption investigation. That investigation, dubbed Case 1,000, was probing the prime minister’s alleged acceptance of expensive gifts from friends and business associates.
The post, which is accompanied by an image of the younger Netanyahu dressed like a clown, has garnered over 12,000 likes and nearly 5,000 shares on Facebook since Sunday.
חמישה דברים שלא ידעתם על יורש העצר, יאיר נתניהו:1. יאיר, צעיר בן 25 שאינו עובד לפרנסתו ומתגורר בבית הוריו על חשבון…
On Tuesday, Yair Netanyahu hit back at the group, saying in a Facebook post that he was being unfairly singled out, as other children of Israeli leaders were not subject to the same scrutiny.
“I’m not going to address these lies,” he wrote.
He accused Sixty One, which is run by the dovish Molad NGO, of being a “radical, anti-Zionist organization funded by the Foundation for the Destruction of Israel [a reference to the New Israel Fund, in a Hebrew play on words] and the European Union.”
“How nice that your side is always going on about incitement, demonization, character assassination and crossing of all red lines,” he wrote, before signing off with a character of a middle finger and poop emoji.
The emoji was a reference to a recent incident in a Jerusalem park during which a woman said Netanyahu junior flipped her the bird after she asked him to clean up his family dog’s excrement.
Sixty One swiftly issued a response to Yair’s post, calling on him to apologize and remove the post, or face a libel lawsuit.
“You got angry, you lied about us without a shred of evidence of receiving funds from Israel’s enemies,” the group fired back. “Do you really want to burden him [the prime minister] with more libel lawsuits just because of your behavior?”
“Yair, just apologize and delete the post, and this will be over,” Sixty One said. “Then we can go back to dealing with the more burning issues, like the corruption among the country’s leaders.”