Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu. Have they no shame?
Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom, GPO

Bibi's sweet dreams

Op-ed: While public is being hit with new tax hikes, Israel's royal couple does as it pleases

We thought nothing could surprise us when it came to the Netanyahus' personal conduct. Well, we were wrong. It turns out that King Bibi and Queen Sara can do as they please.


Even a five-hour flight in first class seems too much for them. Our president, who will celebrate his 90th birthday next month, spent 11 hours flying to South Korea without any special demands. But after all, he is just the president. Bibi is a king. And in a monarchy, when the king and queen get on a plane – it's priceless.


Their royal highnesses' bedchamber cost the Israeli public, which has just been hit with new tax hikes, half a million shekels. Have they no shame? What was the prime minister thinking when he was presented with the bill for his five hours of sleep? NIS 100,000 per hour. That's what people must mean when they say sweet dreams.


His office explained in a statement that the prime minister had a rough day. He sang at the President's Residence, presented awards to the Bible Quiz winners and shook hands at the Israel Prize ceremony. That's not easy. Even if we accept the claim that the prime minister had to rest before Margaret Thatcher's funeral, we would expect him or one of his staff to be sensitive enough to put a stop to this unacceptable spending. But what does our prime minister have to do with sensitivity?


It's unbelievable that there was not a single person among the prime minister's associates who saw how ridiculous this is. Some common sense. Someone who would understand how much anger this would generate once it is revealed. Are the people sitting up there in the ivory tower so detached from the public? Or are they just afraid to tell the royal couple what they think?


One cannot imagine anything more pathetic than the demand for a bedchamber on the Tel Aviv-London route. Even in terms of the Netanyahus' behavior, this has set a new standard.


On Monday, the government is scheduled to convene to approve the budget cuts, including the cancellation of property tax relief for senior citizens. Cancelling this benefit will give the State back some tens of millions of shekels at the expense of elderly. One should only hope that the person who values his sleep so much will be able to come up with a way for Israel's elderly to enjoy a good night's sleep too.



פרסום ראשון: 05.12.13, 20:29
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