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WATCH: Netanyahu scolds top aide in front of cameras

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office is in utter chaos (and this is not an exaggeration)

For years we all knew he was a difficult man to work for, but the situation in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has reached new heights over the past few weeks.

Natan Eshel, Netanyahu’s bureau chief, agreed on Sunday to resign after being accused of sexually harassing an employee. As if to make things worse, reports surfaced this week that Eshel took inappropriate pictures with his phone of this employee during Netanyahu’s last speech at Congress [Heb]. You remember, the one where he got 29 standing ovations?

Furthermore, yesterday the head of the National Information Directorate at Netanyahu’s office, Yoaz Hendel, resigned from his post. Hendel, who just started the job 6 months ago, quit after claiming the PM had lost trust in him for telling the attorney general about Eshel’s behavior. Netanyahu, who is allegedly mad at his officials for turning to the AG before telling him, should actually be thankful his people didn’t let him in on this. They saved him the nasty spotlights from the media. But as usual, Bibi had to screw things up.

The icing on the cake had to be the video released last night showing Netanyahu reprimanding , in front of the cameras, his cabinet secretary Zvi Hauser, who also squealed with Hendel to the AG. He gave Hauser a lashing for… not closing the door during the cabinet meeting this Sunday. Reports say that Hauser is now also considering resigning.

Wow, someone’s losing it. Great timing, too. With Iran and all…



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  • COMMENTS

    1. Tammy

      “…the situation in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has reached new heights over the past few weeks.”

      And, the situation… has reached new lows…

      Reply to Comment
    2. Ahmad's iPad

      Bibi’s scorecard: Economy – check. Security – check. clean government – check. Foreign relations – check (Lieberman doesnt help, but anyway). Oppoistion in disarray led by people with the charisma of a Geriatric hospital cantine – check.

      How can someone take “Inappropriate pictures” during a speech in congress? What kind of pictures could be taken in such places ?

      Netanyahu has his faults, but he did a lot better than his predecessors in the last 10-15 years (inc. Netanyahu 1.0)

      Reply to Comment
    3. Elan Miller

      This is pathetic. How desperate is this article? This is a molehill, not a mountain. Pedantic, petty journalism.

      Reply to Comment
    4. @Elan – obviously you know nothing of Israeli politics. The Nathan Eshel affair is one of the biggest stories around. Have you picked up a paper recently? I recommend refraining from posting “pathetic” comments that expose your weaknesses.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Passerby

      Elan is completely right. This article and the video are pathetic. This isn’t even a molehill. I say this as someone who would never vote for Netanyahu. Just as one example of how this isn’t even worth reporting, Bill Clinton was notorious for blowing up at his aides.

      Reply to Comment
    6. @passerby – didn’t expect much from you either.

      Reply to Comment
    7. ada

      great times indeed…. I hope he won’t drop a bomb on iran to conceal what’s going on ….

      Reply to Comment
    8. sh

      Taken out of context it may not look like much, but Netanyahu’s staff changes are legion.
      .
      “According to Israel Radio, 12 people have left Netanyahu’s office since he took power less than three years ago.”
      Netanyahu’s angry that he was not approached about the problem immediately, although “In an apparent attempt to protect Netanyahu, Hendel and two other staffers in the Israeli leader’s office tried to handle the harassment affair without involving the prime minister”.
      More details here:
      http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/report-top-aide-israeli-prime-minister-resigns-15763232#.T0Xk6BzP9DQ
      .
      Now the woman who was harassed seems to have decided not to press charges.
      .
      In light what went before, the body language and undertone does look kind of telling.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Steve

      I just watched the video, and this is… silly. All Netanyahu did was firmly instruct the aide on what to do, repeating a few firm instructions on locking a door. Why would we pretend this was something major? There was no yelling, cursing or anything crazy at all.

      Reply to Comment
    10. @steve: welcome to the club of people who have no clue about Israeli politics or the Eshel affair. You’re in good company though, so I wouldn’t worry too much. You’ve got Elan and passerby to have fun with.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Ahmad's iPad

      @Ami – keep insulting people who don’t share your opinions (A very emotional speech by failed politician is good, PM lightly scolding his aid bad)

      btw- This issue is on the front page because journalists decided it was more important than reporting about Arab trying to murder jews (or arabs) etc.

      Reply to Comment
    12. @ahmad – I don’t insult people who disagree with me. If you check my blog, you’ll see I have great respect for constructive criticism. But when people write half-baked comments, pretty much like yours, with just an intent to hurt people – I strike back. Which is why you’re surprised.
      .
      Oh, and if you disagree with this comment, feel free to write some constructive criticism. But piss me off like your pals, and you’re out. :)
      .
      Oh, and one more thing about editorial decisions: with all due respect to the Is/Pal conflict, sexual harassment in PM or Presidential offices is considered to be a story that should be covered. Just thought you should know.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Andy

      Ami – I also despise Bibi. Really. And the Eshel affair is definitely important and newsworthy. That’s not what anyone above is saying. Maybe you already know, or think you know, where they are coming from because of other things they have written. But I have now shown the video and your blog post to multiple people who share 972mag’s politics, and they all rolled their eyes and agreed that this was petty journalism. Neither the tone nor content of what Bibi said to his aid struck anyone as being out of the ordinary for an executive of any kind. If the angle is that the aid was embarrassed because it happened on tv, that is one thing, but short of that, it was not behavior that would give an aid grounds to quit. If Hauser is considering resigning (as you mention “reports say”) it would have to be because of more than this incident if the guy has any desire for a professional future.

      Reply to Comment
    14. @andy – roll your eyes for as long as you want, for all I care. I suggest you read SH’s comment above, who was the only person apparently who could put two and two together about this post.
      .
      This video is just one part of the whole affair that has been going on for weeks now – calling it petty journalism is a gross misunderstanding of what is going on in the PMO.
      .
      Also, I never claimed nor hinted that Hauser would resign just because of this lashing. Could it be a straw on the camel’s back? Of course it could.
      .
      And lastly, “showing the post to other people” who then roll their eyes isn’t the best way to convince someone that they’re right or wrong, Andy. If those people told you to jump off a cliff, would you? Are these friends of yours top political analysts? Why should I even care what your friends think (don’t take that personally, but really…)?
      .
      I have to say, I’m really disappointed with some of the comments on this post. Covering every angle of the Eshel affair, be it this video, the fotos, the resignations – it’s all legit and all respectable media is doing so.
      .
      Wake up and smell the coffee, people.

      Reply to Comment
    15. I’d also like to add, to all you righteous people, that of course what Bibi said is nothing out of the ordinary for a boss to say. But for some reason, most bosses don’t do that on national TV.
      .
      Furthermore, I have a hunch, but just a hunch, that a media-man like Bibi knew full well that camera was rolling.

      Reply to Comment
    16. “Furthermore, I have a hunch, but just a hunch, that a media-man like Bibi knew full well that camera was rolling.”

      Yeah. Me too. He may not be my favourite politician, to use the understatement of the century, but he’s waaaaaaaay too camera-savvy to have not known. Bibi definitely wanted that to be seen, although whether he wanted to publicly humiliate his aide, or show everyone what an uber-strong alpha male he was or some other reason is unclear..

      Reply to Comment
    17. Ahmad's iPad

      This comment was deleted

      Reply to Comment
    18. @ahmad – told ya. Now go and complain how undemocratic I am like all you other loser trolls.

      Reply to Comment
    19. @ahmad: One last thing. You wrote in the comment I deleted: “The Eshel affair was interesting: Man harasses woman, woman complains, man resigns.”
      .
      Further proof on how clueless you are and how shallow your understanding is.
      .
      The woman never complained. In fact, she refused to complain. Do you know who complained? Three aides in the PMO. Hauser was one of them. Are you starting to get the picture?
      .
      I strongly suggest you read the newspapers before telling people their journalism is petty.

      Reply to Comment
    20. Andy

      Ami, I ask this in all sincerity, because I can really understand if you have taken so much flak that it has become automatic, but do you read every comment that people make as if it was said to you in an attacking, know it all, sort of voice? That is the only way I can understand why your comebacks come off as obnoxious, even when I try to read them in the plainest and most pleasant tone possible. My comment was written as plainly as possible. That may not have been clear. That you felt the need to insult me for showing your article to other people is unbelievable. People share articles with each other. On Facebook and other platforms. That’s what people do. And they often do it with a, so what do you think of this? I showed it to other people because I wanted to see how an average reader/viewer might see things. I don’t assume that the way I react to something is the TRUTH. For that matter, I also don’t think that JUST because some other people reacted similarly that my perspective is therefore the TRUE one, either. It’s just a way of doing a reality check. And that’s what I was sharing with you, out of genuine interest for people whose opinions I otherwise respect not coming off as arrogant petty jerks to people who would otherwise by responsive to their message/perspective. That you then got all aggressive with me was disappointing. I am genuinely concerned about how you sound to others. If your interest is in more than just being right (or just feeling right), and you want to actually communicate successfully with people and convince them of your perspective, you have to be more aware of your tone.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Steve

      Bunches of Netanyahu staff members quitting or leaving over a 3-year period, and just earlier this week, that’s major.

      This particular video with Bibi merely giving firm instructions about locking a door instead of just closing it and the aide (who seems a bit slow there) not simply saying “OK, it’ll be locked,” that’s minor.

      Reply to Comment
    22. Piotr Berman

      On one hand, Ami’s article seems to be in the genre of “Kremlinology” where relative standing or sitting positions and body language are interpreted to reach tentative conclusions.

      I would interpret the video a bit differently.

      Netanyahu: Does ANYONE follow what I say? No wonder IDF did not attack Iran yet if I cannot even get a door closed. Is everything a suggestion?

      Hauser: Whatever. [Makes a show that he is busy reading.]

      Reply to Comment
    23. @andy – that’s very unfair. on the one hand you say you’re all sincere, but in the same breath say I’m being petty and that people roll their eyes. You shouldn’t be surprised at all I react that way. That’s not constructive at all. That’s just simple bashing. If you don’t realize that, the problem is yours. Not mine.
      .
      My tone is fine. It was yours insulting tone that started. Practice what you preach when you say to be aware of tones.
      .
      Good day.

      Reply to Comment
    24. Danny

      This is interesting because it’s a little out of character for Benji (reprimanding subordinates is usually his wife’s duty). He looks genuinely pissed at Hauser, and I think Ami is correct that it has nothing to do with an unlocked door. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Benji is losing it; but the simplest explanation is most likely that he’s merely following his wife’s orders on how to discipline his underlings.

      Reply to Comment
    25. boom

      Comment deleted and user banned

      Reply to Comment
    26. @danny – not only that, I’m sure he knew Sara would be watching…

      Reply to Comment
    27. Here’s one for all those eye-rollers who think this is “petty journalism”. Yossi Verter, probably the best political analyst in Israel, who usually steers clear from petty journalism, also discusses the Eshel affair and the Hauser incident at length today:
      .
      “The Eshel era officially ended this week, and the purging at the Prime Minister’s Office has started. It turns out Eshel was correct when he was heard stating in synagogue on the Shabbat after the affair began, ‘we’ll take care of them later’. Hendel is on his way out and the first proof that Hauser is now Netanyahu’s “slap-kid” was the filmed reprimand next to the government table, due to the active door in the government board room. If that’s what the PM does to his secretary in public, one can only wonder how the relationship looks behind closed doors.”
      .
      Go roll your eyes on that one.

      Reply to Comment
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