(January 10, 2018 / JNS) Yair Netanyahu, the son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expressed regret for his “ridiculous” statements in a 2015 recording of him at a Tel Aviv strip club that surfaced in an Israeli news report on Monday.
In the recording, which was aired on Monday by Israel’s Channel 2, Yair is heard speaking to Nir Maimon, son of gas tycoon Kobi Maiman, about a natural gas deal being negotiated between the Israeli government and Maiman’s company. Yair also was recorded speaking about strippers and his former girlfriend in a degrading manner.
“Bro, you got to spot me. My dad made an awesome deal for your dad, bro, he fought, fought in the Knesset for this, bro,” Yair was recorded as saying. He continued, “Bro, my dad now arranged for you a $20 billion deal and you can’t spot me 400 shekels?”
Yair said in a statement, “Tonight I watched a shameful and sensationalist news story that presented unlawful and secret recordings from a conversation that took place two-and-a-half years ago. In an evening conversation [conducted] under the influence of alcohol I said ridiculous things about women and other foolish things that were better left unsaid.”
“These words do not represent who I am, the values I was raised on or what I believe in. I regret [saying] them and apologize if anyone was hurt by them,” he said.
Yair added that what he told Nir Maimon was a “bad joke meant to roast him, as any sensible person understands.” He downplayed any knowledge of the gas deal, saying, “I never paid any attention to the gas policy [of Israel] and had no clue about any of the details regarding it.”
Separately, the Netanyahu family issued a condemnation of the recording, calling it “persecution, bloodshed and shaming.”
The family added that the recording was “edited in a manipulative [way] and was carried out in a shameful and illegal manner by a driver employed by the office of the prime minister.”
The revelation of the recording comes at a sensitive time for Prime Minister Netanyahu, who remains under investigation in two corruption scandals.