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First lady tells media to leave her family alone

JERUSALEM, Dec. 30 (JTA) — Sara Netanyahu has accused Israeli media of “crossing a red line” by portraying her 5-year-old son Yair in satirical sketches on television shows. Israel Television’s weekly satire show “The Cameri Quintet” recently featured a skit in which Yair pleads with his bodyguard to beat up a kindergarten classmate who had bothered him. “Satire is legitimate and should be part of a democracy,” Netanyahu said. “People have a right to express their views about the prime minister, but there is a red line regarding the portrayal of an innocent child which must not be crossed.” The wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu broke her traditional silence about the media this week in a televised interview aired on Channel 2. When asked whether the Netanyahus had not set the stage for the satire by allowing the media to document family outings, Netanyahu said, “We never invited the photographers. They just took the pictures.” The high profile coverage of Israel’s “first family” is a new development that comes after years in which the spouses and children of Israeli leaders were virtually unknown to the general public. Sonia Peres, wife of opposition leader Shimon Peres, was said to have taken public transportation and waited on line at the bank, unrecognized. Since Netanyahu’s election, Israeli newspapers have featured photos of the family at play, as well as banner headlines on the family’s nanny troubles.