PRIME Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's US Social Security file includes no references to individuals other than family members, according to information obtained by The Jerusalem Post. This contradicts stories published in the Tel Aviv weekly Ha'ir, which claimed that Netanyahu's file includes the names of John Jay Sullivan and John Jay Sullivan Jr.
The Jerusalem Post has also located the Sullivans in California. They claim to have never had any connection to Netanyahu, and they have different Social Security numbers. Indications are that the only time Netanyahu and the name Sullivan appear together is on routine credit files resulting from clerical error or possible fraud.
The story began with an article in Ha'ir on June 21, asserting that Netanyahu's Social Security file, 020-36-XXXX, is marked "Confidential" by the US government. Ha'ir also claimed that the names Benjamin Netanyahu, Benjamin Neitay, John Jay Sullivan, and John Jay Sullivan Jr. all appear in Netanyahu's file and hold the same Social Security number. Ha'ir inferred, but provided no evidence, that Netanyahu had for some reason created false identities.
Netanyahu's Social Security file has not been marked "Confidential." "All Social Security files are closed and confidential," an American official who routinely deals with with Social Security matters explained. He added that any attempt to enter such a file without proper authorization is considered a federal offense.
But a federal employee did agree to read the Netanyahu file and report his findings to private detective Steve Rambam, who was employed by an interested party. The results: "The name Benyamin Natanyahu [spelled as indicated] is the sole holder of Social Security No. 020-36-XXXX. There is a reference to Netanyahu's second wife Fleur H. Netanyahu and apparently a cross reference to his brother and sister-in-law Iddo and Daphna Netanyahu. The Sullivans do not appear."
While Netanyahu has always admitted to having used the simpler name Benjamin Neitay in the years he lived in the US, that name also does not appear in his Social Security file. The only document on which the name Sullivan and Netanyahu appear together is on credit rating reports prepared by the Trans Union and TRW credit unions.
Rambam, who has appeared as an expert witness at trials involving fraud, explains that "the reports in question are either the result of clerical error or deception. Forty percent of credit reports include errors." "In April 1996, Netanyahu's Trans Union records were accessed several times within a short period, presumably by the same person," he said.
Earlier this month, Ma'ariv contacted Sullivan by telephone. He denied any link to Netanyahu and said: "I am an American citizen, alive and well, and I have no connection to the Israeli prime minister." According to the report, Sullivan, fearing credit card fraud, refused to disclose his Social Security number.
Following publication of the Ha'ir story, questions were raised in the Knesset alleging that Netanyahu had for some reason been using the name Sullivan as an alias for unknown activities while living in the US. MK Tamar Gozansky (Hadash) even suggested that Netanyahu might have used the names as a cover to receive payments as an informant for the CIA.
But John Jay Sullivan and John Jay Sullivan Jr. are real people, living in northern California. The senior Sullivan lives with his wife Juliana, whose name also shows up on the credit union reports. The Sullivans have two registered addresses. They rent a home and live at Belmont, California. They also own a home, which they rent out, at Redwood, California. John Jay Sullivan Jr. is their son.