Benjamin Netanyahu under fire from right wingers for letting his son date a non-Jew

'I bet it pains him. Any Jew... wants to see his son marry a Jewish girl,' says politician from the ultra-orthodox Shas party

Benjamin Netanyahu has been criticised by right-wing politicians in Israel who have accused the country’s prime minister of failing to set an example for the Jewish people by not preventing his son from dating a non-Jewish girl.

Yair Netanyahu, a 23-year-old student, is thought to be dating a Norwegian woman after the pair met at the prestigious Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, which they both attend.

According to a report in the Norwegian newspaper Dagen, when the Israeli leader met Norwegian premier Erna Solberg at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, he mentioned that Yair had a Norwegian girlfriend, 25-year-old Sandra Leikanger, and that the couple had visited Norway last summer.

The newspaper also published photos posted on Ms Leikanger’s Facebook page appearing to show the pair posing together at various sites in Norway.

“It’s a big problem,” Nissim Ze’ev, a politician representing the ultra-orthodox Shas party, told the Jerusalem Post. “As the prime minister of Israel and the Jewish people, he must display national responsibility via the values he presents inside his own household.

“I bet it pains him. Any Jew who wants to maintain his roots wants to see his son marry a Jewish girl,” Mr Ze’ev said.

Judaism is traditionally seen as matrilineal, with a child’s religion determined by that of its mother. Mr Netanyahu has not escaped criticism from within his own party either.

“All I can say is that it is very unfortunate,” said Moshe Feiglin, head of the Jewish Leadership faction of Israel’s centre-right Likud party. The right-wing anti-assimilation organisation Lehava, which is strongly opposed to intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews, has been more outspoken: “Bibi’s son has found a Gentile! His father is proud of him and gives legitimacy to the assimilation and destruction of the Jewish people.”

According to Israeli media, the group’s activists have attacked Mr Netanyahu,  telling him: “Your father is turning in his grave.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
Image from Montgomery County Animal Services & Adoption Center
news
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander in the leaked trailer for Zoolander 2
film
Arts and Entertainment
Ensemble cast: Jamie McCartney with ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’
artBritish artist Jamie McCartney explains a work that is designed to put women's minds at rest
Arts and Entertainment
Michael B. Jordan and Kate Mara are seen on the set of 'Despierta America' to promote the film 'Fantastic Four'
filmMichael B Jordan and Kate Mara in latest awkward film interview
Life and Style
BMW factory
tech
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an I...

Recruitment Genius: Project Assistant

£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...

Recruitment Genius: DBA Developer - SQL Server

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen