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Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu. Bad influence? Photo: AFP
Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu. Bad influence? Photo: AFP

'Sara Netanyahu driving us crazy'

Internal tensions in PM's Office reach new high: Sources close to Netanyahu say at least two senior officials on their way out, accuse his wife of 'badly influencing him and taking the bureau apart'

Attila Somfalvi
Published: 11.30.10, 20:16 / Israel News

Internal tensions within the Prime Minister's Office have reached a new high in recent days, with some senior officials pointing a finger at none other than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, Sara.


"Sara is taking the bureau apart," a knowledgeable source told Ynet on Tuesday. "She's driving everyone crazy."


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A source close to Netanyahu reported that "at least two very senior officials are on their way out, considering their future in the bureau, and feeling that they cannot make the contribution they want to."


According to the source, "Netanyahu is running from the media again. He feels he's being pursued and that his public status is being harmed. He can't stand dealing with the media, and he doesn't want to listen to his advisors."


Letters written by right-wing activist Yisrael Yagal, who was active in Netanyahu's election campaign, turn the spotlight to the Prime Minister's Office and the unholy link between Sara Netanyahu and the State of Israel's decision making center.


A source familiar with the bureau stressed that "the situation is not good. People are frustrated. Netanyahu feels persecuted again. People don't change – he may have matured, but he hasn't change. And neither has she, and she has a bad influence on him."


'She interfered in everything'

Thousands of words have been written about the conduct of the prime minister's wife, her involvement in the Likud's election campaign and in senior government appointments, and the fact that the prime minister's Chief of Staff Natan Eshel informs her of almost anything taking place in the most important and sensitive decision making setting in the country.


So far, however, the prime minister's associates have managed to reject the claims with different denials, arguing that Mrs. Netanyahu was being badmouthed for no reason.


Yagal's letters have put the Netanyahu and his office under pressure. A senior official in the Likud election campaign confirmed to Ynet that "the picture painted by Yagal is accurate. In fact, things were much worse. No one saw Sara walking around, but she was always there… She interfered in everything, and she apparently continues to interfere today."


A senior official who was part of the election campaign described Yagal as "a serious, ideological man, who came to help because he believed he could contribute. He is an honest and modest person, and he wasn't there for the money or connections."


According to the official, Yagal was angry and disappointed over the bureau's conduct, saying that "a prime minister in Israel needs a work environment. Sara is a factor, but she's not the main problem. Many problems could be avoided if Netanyahu had a good and serious team."


Yagal refused to comment on the affair. His associates noted that he was not behind the letters' publication in the media, and that he wrote the letters after he found out that Sara Netanyahu had thwarted an appointment of a former Netanyahu advisor as Minister Moshe Yaalon's chief of staff.



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