Yair Netanyahu to address AIPAC youth event in Washington

Prime minister’s son accompanied his father to annual US pro-Israel lobby group event; meeting with young leaders confirmed by official, though it does not appear on roster

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's eldest son Yair Netanyahu is seen at the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on June 5, 2018. (Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's eldest son Yair Netanyahu is seen at the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on June 5, 2018. (Flash90)

Yair Netanyahu, the son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is scheduled to speak at an event for young leaders to be held at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual conference in Washington.

The younger Netanyahu’s participation was not publicized and it was not clear what the purpose of his address to the group would be, the Haaretz daily reported Sunday. He does not appear on the roster of scheduled speakers.

Yair Netanyahu had himself revealed his AIPAC participation in a tweet over the weekend when he answered questions from reporters as to why he was traveling with his father to the March 24-26 policy conference.

An AIPAC official confirmed to Haaretz that Yair was on the agenda, describing it as an “informal” event, but it was not clear when the young leadership happening would take place.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, his wife, Sara (c), and their son Yair during a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (not pictured), at Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem on December 8, 2013. (Haim Zach/GPO/Flash90)

Netanyahu, the son, was in the headlines earlier this week after Channel 12 diplomatic correspondent Dana Weiss posted a candid video in which she called the prime minister’s son a “zero” and “aut… shithead,” appearing to start to call him “autistic” before changing her mind. She made the video Saturday night as members of the media waited to board a plane for Washington, which was reportedly held up by Yair Netanyahu.

The clip drew condemnation from the prime minister himself and Weiss later removed it from her Twitter account and apologized, denying she called the younger Netanyahu “autistic.”

The prime minister’s son is frequently under fire for his comments and posts on social media. Last year he said he was banned from Facebook, days after posting that he would prefer all Muslims to leave Israel.

In 2017, he posted and then deleted an apparently anti-Semitic caricature of liberal Jewish financier George Soros.

Screenshot of a cartoon featuring George Soros, posted by Yair Netanyahu, son of Israel’s prime minister, September 8, 2017. (Facebook)

Earlier this month, Haaretz reported that Netanyahu left a $2,500 unpaid bill at a Brazilian Hilton hotel after he accompanied his father and mother on an official state visit to the country in December. As a private citizen, Yair Netanyahu’s expenses were supposed be paid for by his family but apparently had not been. The Prime Minister’s Office said at the time of the report that it was looking into the matter and had only just received the bill.

Also earlier this month Yair Netanyahu was reportedly put on leave from his job after he derided President Reuven Rivlin against a background of debate on the role of Arab Israelis in politics and the coming April 9 national elections.

Netanyahu was reportedly told to wait until after the vote before returning to his job as a social media coordinator for Shurat HaDin — the Israel Law Center, an NGO that offers legal representation and advocacy for terror victims. Sources close to Yair Netanyahu said that it was he, and not Shurat Hadin, that requested the leave so he could better focus on the campaign.

Prime Minister Netanyahu was planning to address the AIPAC conference, but cut short his visit due to a rocket attack from Gaza on central Israel early Monday morning. He will meet with US President Donald Trump for talks before returning to Israel.

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