Israeli PM's wife stirs crisis in bureau: report

08:13, December 03, 2010      

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife Sarah is reportedly creating an upheaval in her husband's Jerusalem bureau, with executives contemplating quitting their posts.

Top officials at the bureau who are currently weighing other career options include Director General Eyal Gabai, communications advisor Nir Hefetz and Cabinet Secretary Tzvi Hauser, according to a report in the daily Ma'ariv on Thursday.

The report attributes the unfolding crisis in the bureau to Mrs. Netanyahu's alleged interference in its daily functioning and in official state matters.

Ma'ariv on Wednesday published on its front page an expose regarding Mrs. Netanyahu's alleged involvement in her husband's election campaign in early 2009, saying she had ordered a personal smear campaign against Kadima Party head Tzipi Livni, at the time Netanyahu's leading rival in the race to the premiership.

Mrs. Netanyahu's order to humiliate Livni on public billboards, which ran the slogan "she's not qualified for the job," was implemented against the advice of professional campaign strategists, who had asked to avoid personal accusations and stick to the facts, claimed the expose.

A day earlier, Israeli TV Channel 10 reported on letters sent to Netanyahu by Yisrael Yagel, a former hi-tech entrepreneur who volunteered to assist him in the 2009 election campaign, in which he harshly criticized Mrs. Netanyahu's "gross behind-the-curtain involvement" in the decision-making process concerning state matters.

The Israeli prime minister Wednesday night convened his top advisors for an emergency discussion on the media coverage of his wife, according to Ma'ariv's report on Thursday.

The Prime Minister's Bureau dismissed the report, saying that such a discussion never took place. It also rebuffed reports that three of its top staffers are set to resign as "hearsay aimed at hurting the bureau's functioning and the prime minister.

Source: Xinhua


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