Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was criticized by conservative Israeli lawmakers Monday after a report that his son Yair Netanyahu was dating a non-Jewish woman.
A Norwegian newspaper, Dagen, published the report that Yair Netanyahu, 23, was dating Norwegian student Sandra Leikanger, 25. It said that the Israeli PM told his Norwegian counterpart Erna Solberg at a meeting in Davos last week that his son and Leikanger had enjoyed a recent holiday in Norway.
The news was met with vocal criticism from some Israeli lawmakers. Nissim Ze’ev, a member of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, told the Jerusalem Post Sunday: “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.” Ze’ev added “Any Jew who wants to maintain his roots wants to see his son marry a Jewish girl. There is no shortage of beautiful, successful girls without sowing in the fields of others.”
The anti-assimilation Jewish group Lehava said on Monday “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,” reports the Jerusalem Post. Judaism is traditionally seen as matrilineal, with a child’s religion determined by that of its mother.
Netanyahu’s office declined to comment on the relationship, according to AFP.