Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday called allegations that some of his travels outside the country were funded by private businessmen part of an "orchestrated and organized slander campaign" against him.
The remarks, in which Netanyahu responded publicly for the first time to reports by Channel 10 about the funding sources for the his overseas trips, were made in an interview that was broadcast on Channel Two and on YouTube.
"It's infected by hypocrisy, because every year there are hundreds of trips by members of Knesset, ministers and former prime ministers. There is a standard for trips. The standard for previous prime ministers and previous presidents is acceptable, and is no different from Clinton or Blair,Others did not fly charter or stay at youth hostels."
"I was not invited by donors or private individuals. It's all distorted".
"Why? You don't fly to a private function, you fly to public functions by groups that want to help Israel, or the poor, or immigrants. It's not for private use. These are not private trips, Who will pay for them? Donors. Who funds the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers? Donors."
"The truth will come out, You cannot hold me to a double-standard. Everyone traveled with their wives. The worst part is that in order to harm me, they automatically aim for my wife, threateningly and unfairly."
"We're talking about all kinds of stories, most of them baseless and contaminated by hypocrisy. There are journalists that do not like that I am prime minister and are trying in their way to change that".
"I want to let those journalists know: It won't help you any, it's malicious and its hypocritical and I will be here for many years and I won't change my positions, and I will continue to lead the country.".