JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday defended his son over drunken remarks made between visits to strip clubs and taped illicitly that drew criticism for being derogatory of women.
The recording, aired late on Monday by Israeli Hadashot News, was made in 2015 while Netanyahu’s son, Yair, toured strip clubs in Tel Aviv while partying with two friends.
In it, Yair Netanyahu and his friends are heard teasing each other on who has paid for what during their night out on the town. When one of the friends tells Yair he spotted him 400 shekels (about $115), Yair says: “No, that was for the hooker.”
“I said ridiculous things about women and about other people, which should not have been said,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “These things do not represent me, the values I was raised on and what I believe in. I regret these and apologize to anyone hurt by them.”
The recording has made headlines in Israel, where Yair was criticized for using a state-funded car and driver to take him around strip clubs along with his state-funded security guard.
Speaking with reporters in Jerusalem on Tuesday, the prime minister said his son was right to apologize. “My wife and I raised our children to respect any person and to respect all women,” Netanyahu said.
The 26-year-old Yair Netanyahu has found himself the center of controversy in the past.
In September he drew anger in Israel and abroad for posting a cartoon using what the Anti-Defamation League, which monitors anti-Semitism worldwide, described as anti-Semitic imagery in a Facebook post mocking some of his father’s critics.
In August, he made another headline-grabbing post after a protester was killed during a white nationalist rally in the U.S. state of Virginia, that suggested hard-left organizations pose more of a danger than neo-Nazi groups.