Benjamin-Sara_Netanyahu-Dan_Shapiro copyBenjamin Netanyahu is “a hero of the free world” according to his wife, Sara, who made the declaration while screaming down the phone to a critic’s wife.

The call – made last year and later transcribed by an Israeli journalist – was released while Mrs Netanyahu was giving an interview in which she claimed she was being attacked by her husband’s political opponents ahead of the election.

During the 2014 call to the wife of Eli Moyal, a former mayor of Sderot who criticised the PM’s handling of the Gaza war, Sara Netanyahu is recorded as say her husband is “admired the world over”.

She asks: “Does anyone in the country want anyone else other than Bibi? Huh? Someone in this entire country? They admire him the entire world over. A man [who] took all of the State of Israel upon his shoulders, who sends soldiers to war, who behaves with rare political wisdom, speaks with leaders all the time.” 

In the week her husband was snubbed by the White House, Sara is recorded as saying her husband “knows how to speak with leaders of the world.” 

In an insulting rant, she asks the wife: “Where is your man? He doesn’t even reach the ankles of my husband. What, did Eli Moyal ever speak once with leaders of the world? Did he ever do something in his life?”

Of Netanyahu, she says: “In the United States they say that if he had been born in the US, he’d have been elected president there.” 

In response, she said she was being attacked by her husband’s left-wing opponents in an effort to discredit him. “It’s an elitist and chauvinist approach that blames the woman,” she said, before adding: “A journalist once told me that if I had been from the left, I would have been a queen.”

The couple’s seemingly excessive spending has been the subject of much debate, and last week Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said he had ordered a preliminary investigation into fiscal misconduct.