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An Israeli journalist made waves on Tuesday after taking up six minutes of television airtime to read a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacking her after an investigative report. Ilana Dayan of Israel’s privately owned Channel 2 television broadcast an investigation last night into the management of Netanyahu’s office.
As part of the report, 32 questions were sent to Netanyahu’s office seeking a response to allegations. The report included claims that a candidate to become head of spy a gency Mossad was not given the job after refusing to guarantee his personal loyalty to Netanyahu, instead saying he was loyal to the country.
It also aired various accusations related to Netanyahu’s wife Sara, including that she approved senior appointments. Dayan, a well-known and respected journalist in Israel, spent some six minutes reading Netanyahu’s full response after her report aired.
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“It will be interesting to see if Ilana Dayan, who presents herself as a paragon of free expression, will broadcast our response without censoring it,” the statement from Netanyahu’s office said. The statement included a litany of personal and professional attacks against Dayan, accusing her of being part of the “extreme left” and without “an ounce of professional integrity.”
It alleged she was leading a campaign to “bring down the rightwing government.” The statement also said Dayan’s investigative report was “a recycling of warped gossip and vicious lies.”
Dayan said that they decided to read the statement in full “because it illustrates everything that the story shows on the management of the prime minister’s office.” Netanyahu “is not my enemy, and I’m not his enemy, either,” she told army radio, according to Haaretz newspaper.
Other details in Dayan’s report included allegations that Netanyahu arrived unprepared to a White House meeting with US President Barack Obama because he had to spend the entire flight speaking with his wife. It also said a trip to Germany had to be cancelled at the request of Sara Netanyahu.
Former prime minister Ehud Barak, from the opposition Labour party, said on Twitter that Netanyahu had “completely lost his mind.” Netanyahu’s Likud party had not reacted on Tuesday.