Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's 26-year-old son has been caught on tape in a drunken state outside a strip club talking about a key natural gas deal, thus leading to political fallout on Tuesday 9th January. Yair Netanyahu has been the subject of controversy in the past and this audio recording led to further criticism of his father's handling of Israel's natural gas industry. This comes at a time when Israeli Prime Minister already faces two unrelated graft investigations.
Netanyahu's family declared the broadcast of the recording by Israel's Channel 2 television as a part of a witch-hunt. "Apparently, everything is fair game to attack the Netanyahu government and family, including using a secret and illegal recording of young men drinking alcohol," a statement said.
Yair Netanyahu said he was obviously joking in the alleged 2015 audio. Yair, can be heard speaking with the son of Kobi Maimon, a stakeholder in a company that owns a share in Israel's offshore Tamar gas field.
Their conversation also include several ribald topics like disparaging, misogynistic comments about women, money borrowed to pay a stripper and a late-night search for a prostitute. "Speaking of prostitutes, what's open at this hour?" Yair Netanyahu asks his friends at one point on the recording. "It's possible the waitresses there go with the flow."
"My dad arranged $20 billion for your dad -- you can give me 400 shekels ($116/97 euros)," he says.
Yair Netanyahu issued a statement apologising and said he was only joking "under the influence of alcohol" and was full of "nasty things about women and other things that should not have been said."
"These statements don't represent the person I am, the values I was educated on and what I believe. Regarding what I said about the gas deal, it was a joke. Anyone with a bit of common sense understands that right way," he said.
Netanyahu faced a difficult political battle over Israel's natural gas arrangements. Labour party leader Avi Gabbay said the recording was a "new stain on the corrupt gas deal".
There was also criticism over Yair's security arrangements, with at least two lawmakers calling for an investigation as a security guard employed by the state purportedly accompanied Yair to the strip club.