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PM in Hot Water Over Son Yair's Non-Jewish Girlfriend

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was under fire Sunday after it was reported that his son was dating a non-Jewish woman.
By David Lev and AFP
First Publish: 1/27/2014, 2:16 AM

PM Netanyahu at Taglit Mega Event
PM Netanyahu at Taglit Mega Event
Assaf Lev

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was under fire Sunday after it was reported that his son was dating a non-Jewish woman. Yair, 23, is said to be dating 25-year-old Norwegian Sandra Leikanger, currently studying in Israel. The two met at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center, where they study.

MKs and Jewish identity organizations demanded that Netanyahu do something about the matter, saying that it was unseemly for the son of the leader of the Jewish state to be dating a non-Jewish girl. MK Nissim Zeev (Shas) told the Jerusalem Post on Sunday Netanyahu must "display national responsibility" as prime minister to do so. "It's a big problem," he said. "I bet it pains him." MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) said that the relationship “is very unfortunate.”

Lehava, a right-wing Jewish education group, called on Netanyahu "to prevent this relationship. Your grandchildren, as you know, will not be Jewish" if the two marry, Lehava director Bentzi Gopshtain warned the Israeli premier in a Facebook post.

Sources have confirmed that Leikanger is not Jewish. The news about Yair's relationship with her leaked after Netanyahu told his Norwegian counterpart Erna Solberg the two had recently holidayed in Norway.

Yair is the son of Netanyahu's third wife, Sarah. Netanyahu was himself married to a non-Jewish woman, Fleur Cates, between 1981 and 1984. Netanyahu has claimed that she converted, although this has never been confirmed.

Netanyahu's office refused to comment on Yair's reported relationship.