While the timing of the investigation into Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin and wife Sara Netanyahu’s spending habits may seem conveniently close to the elections, some of what is surfacing seems to be sticking. However, Jacob Weinroth, attorney for the Netanyahus wrote in a letter to attorney general Yehuda Weinstein that there was no reason to suspect any criminal behavior.
It started with something that seemed a bit petty; Sara Netanyahu collected returns on bottles of beverages that were bought with public money. She gave back the 4, 000 shekel from returning the bottles. After “bottlegate, ” there was the patio furniture, identical to the patio furniture at the official residence, that was delivered to a private residence, according to Times of Israel, but Sara Netanyahu insists that was purchased with private funds. Third, an electrician who was close to the Likud party and was overpaid didn’t seem to have been given an overly generous fee at the request of the Prime minister.
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However, following the exhaustive 11 hour testimony from ex-caretaker Menny Naftali after receiving immunity from prosecution, testimony that contained claims of lavish and habitual overspending at the taxpayer’s expense, the Israeli public seems to be more interested. Prior to this revelation on Thursday, the previous stories about the Netanyahus spending seemed to have little impact on voters. However, Natfali, who is suing for damages in addition to testifying to police, speaks of embellished budgets for entertaining guests, saying that there were 10 guests when there were four or listing the guests as from overseas when they were from Israel.
Given that Naftali has a pre-existing conflict with the Netanyahus and a lawsuit, some question the reliability of his testimony. However, channel 2 news said, “The police are preparing to take testimony… and it is not inconceivable that Prime Minister Netanyahu and Mrs. Netanyahu will be asked to give testimony.”