Senior FM official reprimanded for comments about ‘First Lady’ Sara Netanyahu

After he commented on the use of the term “First Lady” as the title for the Israeli prime minister’s wife, Foreign Affairs Ministry Chief of State Protocol Meron Reuben was reprimanded by his superior and instructed to “keep a low profile.”
The Netanyahu couple and the Pence couple Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO

The Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry Chief of State Protocol Meron Reuben was summoned for a meeting with the ministry’s director-general, Yuval Rotem, after he commented on the use of the title “First Lady” for Sara Netanyahu during US Vice President Mike Pence’s visit. Rotem chided Reuben because he did not receive permission to give the Haaretz interview during which he was asked about the use of the term, according to Israel News Company.

Rotem instructed the senior Foreign Affairs Ministry official to “keep a low profile” and not participate in any official ceremonies until the review into the matter has been completed. During the impromptu interview, reporter Nir Gontarz asked Reuben about the recent use of the term. According to the Haaretz report, Reuben answered: “There are two terms: ‘the prime minister’s wife’ and ‘the president’s wife.’ We don't have a First, Second or Third Lady. Maybe the Prime Minister's Office has begun using new terms.”

Reuben further stated that the ministry spokesperson was the announcer who called the prime minister's wife by that title. “I don’t recall signing anything that has ‘First Lady’ written on it, unless it refers to the wife of the president of the United States,” Reuben added.

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