Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has made a plea deal with prosecutors that resulted in her being convicted of misusing public funds, though she will only end up paying a fine and will not go to jail
A Jerusalem court on Sunday accepted a plea bargain in which Netanyahu agreed to admit to a lesser charge than the original fraud accusations. She will pay about $15,000 (£12,000) in fines and reimbursements to the state.
The sentencing ended one of the long-running cases against the family. However, Benjamin Netanyahu still faces the prospect of three corruption indictments later this year that may end his decade as leader and even result in a prison sentence. He denies all charges.
According to the original indictment against Sara Netanyahu, of fraud and breach of trust, she and a government employee were accused of spending roughly $100,000 (£79,000) on catering from expensive restaurants between 2010 and 2013, despite having a in-house cook provided by the state.
The 60-year-old child psychologist has been a controversial presence at her husband’s side throughout his political career. In addition to the fraud case, she has faced mistreatment accusations from employees and was described in a newspaper as “Israel’s Marie Antoinette”.
In 2017, Netanyahu was ordered to pay tens of thousands of pounds in damages in a dispute with two former domesticstaff who accused her of bullying. She faces a third lawsuit from an employee who alleged staff were treated like “slaves”.
Benjamin Netanyahu is entangled in a series of more severe corruption investigations and is due to appear at a pre-trial hearing in October after Israel’s attorney general announced his intention to indict in all three cases.
He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of bribery and a maximum three-year term for fraud and breach of trust.
The Trump and Netanyahu families share a lot in common. Both are grifters to the core, who seem to think that being elected to the most powerful office in the country entitles them and their family members to use state funds for personal use to augment the already lavish perks that the office provides them. Both Trump and Netanyahu also say that media reports of the charges against them are ‘witch hunts’ by the press, as part of a campaign against them.
They both also promote racist policies and use racist tropes. In the case of Israel, it is seen in the creation of an apartheid state that abuses the Palestinian people by denying them basic human rights on a daily basis and using excessive force against them. In the US, it is seen in the way that Trump treats immigrants of color by putting them, even children, in cages for long times and prosecuting humanitarians who try to provide people with food and water, and in the way that he signals his support of white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
Two peas in a pod really.