Dr. Hagi Ben-Artzi
Dr. Hagi Ben-Artzi Hezki Ezra

The Jerusalem District Court lifted a gag order Thursday regarding a lawsuit filed by Dr. Hagi Ben-Artzi, Sara Netanyahu's brother, in which Mrs. Netanyahu was a respondent.

The suit was filed in Jerusalem's Small Claims Court against Bank Hapoalim, in July of 2012. The bank requested that Mrs. Netanyahu be added to the suit, and she agreed.

Ben-Artzi claimed that the bank had allowed his sister to withdraw funds from their father's account after his passing.

According to News1, Ben-Artzi claimed that his sister withdrew NIS 59,064 to pay for advertisements of grief and for a tombstone for their father. The bank and Mrs. Netanyahu claimed that the amount withdrawn was to cover the father's burial, funeral and headstone expenses, and that this was legal according to the inheritance laws.

Eventually, a settlement agreement between the parties was arrived at, the details of which are still banned from publication. As part of the arrangement, the Court ordered the rejection of the claim filed by Dr. Ben-Artzi.

It is not clear why the gag order on the case was lifted just days before the national election, and some suspect the timing indicates a desire to besmirch the Netanyahus.

Ben-Artzi, a Bar Ilan University lecturer on Jewish history, has had heated disagreements with his brother-in-law in the past. He called for him to resign rather than sign a deal with Hamas for the release of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit, and protested publicly when it was reported that one of Netanyahu's sons was dating a non-Jewish woman. 

He recently agreed, however, that whatever difference of opinion he has with the Prime Minister, Netanyahu is the most worthy candidate for the office.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Ben-Artzi said that “there are several people out there who are offering themselves as alternatives to Netanyahu, including Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid and Labor chairman Yitzhak Herzog. But based on their records, they are not worthy alternatives. Possibly, a leader who can truly be worthy of that title will arise, but they are not the answer.”

According to Ben-Artzi, Netanyahu, for better or worse, is the best Israel's political constellation has to offer right now.

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