JERUSALEM (AP) — The love life of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son is setting off sparks — in Israeli politics.
News that 23-year-old Yair Netanyahu is dating a non-Jewish Norwegian university student has generated interest not just in gossip columns but also among religious lawmakers who warn of assimilation. Orthodox Judaism prohibits intermarriage.
Norwegian media reported that Netanyahu boasted to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg about the romance during a meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week.
But the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party says he believes the relationship is causing Netanyahu and his wife "heartache." Arieh Deri told a local radio station on Monday that it was not just "a personal matter" but a matter concerning the Jewish people.
Netanyahu advocates Israel be recognized as a Jewish state.