Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives with his wife Sara Netanyahu for the 72nd United Nations General Assembly meeting at UN headquarters in New York on September 19, 2017 in New York City.Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Navigate to News section

Sara Netanyahu Goes Ballistic in New Secret Recording

In a now-viral tape, the prime minister’s wife was caught singing—or screaming—her own praises

by
Liel Leibovitz
January 29, 2018
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives with his wife Sara Netanyahu for the 72nd United Nations General Assembly meeting at UN headquarters in New York on September 19, 2017 in New York City.Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Clandestine recordings are to the Netanyahus what Corgis are to the Windsors: There are a lot of them, and no one is really sure what they’re good for.

Just a few weeks after Yair Netanyahu, Bibi’s oldest son, was publicly shamed when a tape was released featuring his crass musings, recorded some years earlier, outside a Tel Aviv strip club, now comes his mother’s turn: Recorded in 2009 while speaking to one of her publicists, Sara Netanyahu can be heard, in a tape released yesterday, losing her cool after a gossip columnist failed to refer to her academic credentials in a way she deemed sufficiently respectful.

Complaining about a brief item that mentioned her work fundraising for her sons’ school and noting that the prime minister’s wife had a duty to perform public service, Netanyahu argued that her very occupation as a psychologist who works with children ought to qualify as serving the public.

“I’m an educated woman!” she was recorded yelling at the publicist. “Psychologist! B.-A! M.-A! That’s it!”

The publicist argues that her credentials were indeed mentioned in the piece, but Netanyahu is unmoved. “This prime minister’s wife serves the public every day!” she shouts, her voice trembling. “In her professional line of work!”

This is not the first time Mrs. Netanyahu is embroiled in scandal—various former employees have sued her, some successfully, alleging abuse, and she faces indictment for allegedly ordering $102,000 worth of meals from expensive restaurants despite having several chefs on her payroll. But never before has she been so publicly and devastatingly exposed, and Israelis were quick to take to the web and turn the newly released tape into meme gold. One DJ, for example, put Netanyahu’s shouty rant to music:

If this tape traumatized you, and you feel like you need a good therapist—someone with a BA and an MA—you know who to call.

Liel Leibovitz is editor at large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One.

Join Us!

All of Tablet’s latest stories—in your inbox, daily. Subscribe to our newsletter.

Please enter a valid email
Check iconSuccess! You have subscribed to the Tablet newsletter.