Yair Netanyahu's Norwegian Girlfriend Spurs 'Woe Is Us' From Orthodox

Israeli Leaders Link Gossip Item to 'Jewish' State

Jewish Issue? Some Israeli leaders are pointing to the relationship between Benjamin Netanyahu’s son and a non-Jewish woman as evidence that he is less than committed to Jewish continuity.
facebook
Jewish Issue? Some Israeli leaders are pointing to the relationship between Benjamin Netanyahu’s son and a non-Jewish woman as evidence that he is less than committed to Jewish continuity.

By JTA

Published January 28, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The leader of the haredi Shas Party said that the relationship between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son and a non-Jewish Norwegian woman is a matter of national concern.

Yair Netanyahu, 23, is dating Sandra Leikanger, 25, a woman he met while they were both studying at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. Netanyahu reportedly chatted with Norway’s prime minister about his son’s relationship at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos.

“Woe is us if it is true,” Shas Party Chairman Aryeh Deri told the haredi Orthodox radio station Kol Barama on Monday. He added that if the reports of the relationship are true, then the prime minister and his wife “have a great heartache.”

Deri explained that he is not attacking the prime minister over his son’s choice of a girlfriend. Rather, he said, “I try not to raise personal criticism, but if, heaven forbid, this is true, it is no longer a personal matter – it is a symbol of the Jewish people.”

He said he is also concerned about how the relationship would appear to his friends “who invest tens of millions, hundreds of millions to fight assimilation throughout the world.”

Other Shas Party members and members of other parties, including Netanyahu’s own Likud Party, have criticized the relationship.

Bentzi Gopshtain, head of the Lehava organization, which is dedicated to fighting assimilation in Israel, warned Netanyahu that his grandchildren from that pairing would not be Jewish. He called on Netanyahu “to prevent this relationship.”

Binyamin Lipkin, editor of haredi newspaper Hamevaser, criticized Netanyahu in an Op-Ed published in Ynet.

“If the prime minister constantly waves his ultimate demand that the Palestinians recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish state, it is not in line with that same prime minister’s indecent bragging about his son’s relationship with a gentile. If this relationship leads to marriage, it will serve as a de facto declaration from the highest official in Israel that Israel is a state of all citizens and not a Jewish state,” Lipkin wrote.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.