Now, it turns out to have been expensive for Israeli taxpayers as well … while many people in Israel suffer from the Netanyahu administration’s economic policies, and protest against them.
This video from Israel says about itself:
May 12, 2013
Jerusalem Post – 3 hours ago
Finance Minister comes under heavy criticism for budget; protesters accuse him of betraying middle class who voted him into power. …
From the Times of Israel:
Netanyahu slammed for spending $127,000 on bed for flight to London
PM’s sleeping requirement for the five-hour flight he and his wife took to Thatcher’s funeral last month prompts complaints from opposition MK, Movement for the Quality of Government
By Times of Israel staff May 11, 2013, 8:50 pm
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced heavy criticism Saturday after it was revealed he spent $127,000 (over 450,000 shekels) of taxpayers’ money having an El Al plane fitted out with a double-bed in an enclosed bedroom for his five-hour flight to London last month to attend the funeral of British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
News of the expense broke Friday, coincidentally just before a renewal of public protests over inequalities in the Israeli economy, with a major demonstration taking place Saturday night in Tel Aviv, and smaller protests in other cities, ahead of the scheduled finalization of the state budget in the next few days. …
The cost of Netanyahu’s April 16-17 flight to and from London was revealed by Channel 10 News. The prime minister is only permitted to use local airlines for his flights, for security reasons, but the demand for a double bed excluded two of the three Israeli airlines — Israir and Arkia — from the contract to arrange the London flight, because their aircraft are not large enough. Their cost for the flight, in which the Netanyahus would have enjoyed business class or first class seats that recline as beds, would have been $300,000, the TV news said. El Al charged $427,000 for the flight because of the additional cost of installing the requested bed in an enclosed bedroom. Thus the requirement cost the taxpayer an additional $127,000.
The Movement for the Quality of Government in Israel said Saturday it would ask the State Comptroller to investigate the expense. Labor MK Micky Rosenthal said he would raise it at the Knesset Control Committee.
Channel 10 noted that President Shimon Peres, who is about to turn 90, did not request a bed even on a recent 11-hour flight to Korea, and never does so on flights to Europe. It said prime ministers Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon also never asked for a bed to be installed on their flights to and from Europe, and that Sharon sometimes chose not to have a bed installed even on transatlantic flights. …
Netanyahu was personally invited to the funeral by the Thatcher family. Peres was also invited, but it was decided after consultations that only Netanyahu would attend.
Israeli budget allocations to defense are set to reach a record-high NIS 59 billion in 2018: here.
Israeli watchdog group Peace Now accused the government on Thursday of taking steps to legalise four unauthorised settlement outposts in the West Bank, just days before US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives on a peace mission.
- Binyamin Netanyahu’s flight of fancy leaves Israeli taxpayers unimpressed (irishtimes.com)
- Netanyahu outdoes “Kev” in the solid gold, 5 star, profligacy stakes! (adscam.typepad.com)
- Israel PM slammed for spending $127000 on bed for flight (worldbulletin.net)
- PM cuts demand for in-flight-bed amid media storm – Jerusalem Post (jpost.com)
- Israeli PM’s $127k bed bill – Irish Examiner (irishexaminer.com)
- Will the real PM please rest up? (timesofisrael.com)
- A Pricey In-Flight Bed Gives Netanyahu Political Nightmare (wnyc.org)
- Obama Didn’t Order Flags Flown at Half Staff When Margaret Thatcher Died This Year (theburningplatform.com)
- Margaret Thatcher’s old HQ is targeted in protest at new laws on squatting (standard.co.uk)
- BBC rejects complaint over ‘censorship’ of Margaret Thatcher protest song (theguardian.com)