'Why isn't he in Israel?': Reservists hit out at Netanyahu's son for staying in US

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and son Yair, left, pose for a photo in Tel Aviv in 2020. Credit: AP

Israeli reservists have criticised Benjamin Netanyahu's son Yair, who is still in Miami, amid the drafting of more than 300,000 reservists to join the war against Hamas.

The 32-year-old reportedly moved to Florida earlier this year after he was sued for defamation following inflammatory social media posts.

A volunteer serving on Israel's northern front told The Times, "Yair is enjoying his life at Miami Beach while I'm on the front lines.

"It's us who are leaving our work, our families, our kids, to protect our families back home and the country, not the people who are responsible for this situation.

"Our brothers, our fathers, sons, are all going to the front line, but Yair is still not here. It does not help build trust in the leadership of the country."

Israel's army is made up of a large proportion of reservists who have completed compulsory national service. They can be called for duty until they reach the age of 40.

Since the outbreak of the conflict, Yair Netanyahu has used his Instagram page to commemorate those who have died in the conflict, and raise awareness for charities supporting victims.

Following Hamas' terror attacks on October 7, 2023, 360,000 reservists were called up. Most were already in Israel but many were abroad at the time.

Another volunteer told The Times: "I’ve flown back from the States where I have a job, a life, my family.

“There is no way I can stay there and abandon my country, my people, at this critical time. Where is the prime minister’s son? Why isn’t he in Israel?

“It is the most uniting moment for us as Israelis in our recent history and every single one of us should be here right now, including the prime minister’s son.”

A court ordered Yair to pay more than $34,000 in compensation and $6,000 in legal costs to Dana Cassidy.

Cassidy sued him for defamation in 2020 after he insinuated on social media that she was romantically involved with Benny Gantz, who was running against his father for prime minister at the time.

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