Netanyahu’s son caught on secret recordings outside strip club

Netanyahu’s son caught on secret recordings outside strip club

Israeli MPs have demanded an investigation after tape recordings emerged of Benjamin Netanyahu’s son talking outside a strip club about how the Israeli prime minister had arranged a $20bn deal for his friend’s business tycoon father.

The embarrassing recordings of Yair Netanyahu, 26, lit up Israeli politics and dominated headlines as commentators debated whether they revealed new corruption or were just the drunken banter of an overprivileged son of a politician.

The secret tapes were made in 2015, when Yair Netanyahu was on a night out in Tel Aviv with Ori Maimon, the son of Kobi Maimon, a major shareholder in an Israeli energy company which owns a gas field in the Mediterranean.

On the recordings, Yair is heard complaining that Ori would not give give him 400 shekels (about $115) which he said was for a prostitute.

“My father arranged $20bn for your father and you’re crying over 400 shekels for me,” he said.

He added: “My dad got your dad a sweet deal, he fought for it at the (Israeli parliament).”

He appears to be referring to a contentious 2015 gas deal which Mr. Netanyahu steered through parliament, in the face of stiff opposition from critics who said the deal gave too much to the companies and too little to lower energy prices.

Under the terms of the deal, two energy companies were given access to a large gas field, Leviathan, in return for scaling back operations in another gas field, Tamar, where Mr. Maimon’s company was operating.

 Avi Gabbay, leader of the Labour opposition party, called for an investigation into the claims made by Yair on the tapes.

“There’s what’s been said and there are the things that are invisible to the eye,” he said.

Both Mr. Netanyahu and his son insisted the tapes were merely drunken joking and strongly denied that they constituted any evidence of corruption.

Agency report

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