As a staggering 360,000 reservists are being called up to join Israel in the fight against Hamas after the terrorists attacked the nation, the son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is coming under fire for his absence.
Netanyahu’s son Yair, 32, is being criticized by some troops for not joining the fight and reportedly continuing to stay in Miami, Florida where he has been since at least April of this year, according to a new report published by The Times.
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“Yair is enjoying his life at Miami Beach while I’m on the front lines,” a volunteer soldier reportedly serving on Israel’s northern front, told The Times.
“It’s us who are leaving our work, our families, our kids, to protect our families back home and the country, not the people who are responsible for this situation,” the soldier continued. “Our brothers, our fathers, sons, are all going to the front line, but Yair is still not here. It does not help build trust in the leadership of the country.”
Daily Mail noted that the younger Netanyahu “has been carving out a name for himself as a right-wing podcast host and media figure, and has regularly shared controversial memes and posts, resulting in several defamation cases over the years.”
According to the outlet:
In August, he was ordered by a court to pay over $34,000 in compensation and $6,000 in legal costs to a woman he implied was having an affair with his father’s political rival.
Earlier this year, a judge ordered him to pay $18,000 to a former lawmaker in Israel’s opposition Labor Party whom he called ‘ugly.’
Yair also caused controversy when it emerged in 2014 that he was dating a Norwegian girl – who is not Jewish.
With Israel’s compulsory military service, the son of the prime minister did not serve as a combat soldier after graduating from school. Rather, he worked in the spokesman’s unit of the Israel Defense Forces.
Netanyah’s son chillin in Florida.
A photograph has emerged of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s son, Yair, taken at a luxury hotel in Miami.
Just chillin… pic.twitter.com/6mKyPcXzSr
— Urantian Lady (@UrantianL) October 22, 2023
“Military service is compulsory for the majority of Israelis when they turn 18. Men have to serve 32 months and women 24,” Daily Mail reported. “After this, most of them can be called up to reserve units until the age of 40, or even older, in case of national emergency, and they fight alongside the regular troops in times of war. Reservists are also used in non-combat roles, meaning that Yair’s lack of frontline experience would not automatically exempt him.”
One soldier deployed to the border with Gaza told The Times: ‘I’ve flown back from the States where I have a job, a life, my family.”
“There is no way I can stay there and abandon my country, my people, at this critical time. Where is the prime minister’s son? Why isn’t he in Israel?” the soldier asked. “It is the most uniting moment for us as Israelis in our recent history and every single one of us should be here right now, including the prime minister’s son.”
One reservist told Reuters he cut short his honeymoon in Thailand to come back to Israel and join the fight.
“(We) set up WhatsApp groups almost everywhere in the world, we called people to join them and we slowly worked to bring as many reservists as possible back to Israel,” Yedidya Shalman, 26, explained. “Of course, we didn’t think twice and are currently on our way home on an El Al plane.”
Others also spoke with The Times about their willingness to drop everything and serve Israel in the fight against the terrorists.
“There is no other place in the world I would rather be. If I had to sit in my lovely apartment on the Upper West Side watching this I would never forgive myself,” said a 37-year-old reservist asked to be identified by the initials L.K.
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