Margaret Thatcher’s funeral was extremely expensive for British taxpayers.
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
Thousands in Tel Aviv protest Lapid budget
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. …
Social Justice Protests in Israel Make a Comeback as 10000 Take to the Streets …AlterNet
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)
On ZDF “Heute Show (satire) Oliver Menke said the Iron Lady should have had a privatized funeral instead of a state one – costing millions. It would have been more in line with her policy of privatizing about everything in the UK.
Thanks for this comment! Indeed, other people, especially in Britain, have made this point as well.
“”Privatise Thatcher’s Funeral. It’s what she would have wanted!: Sign the petition to say you agree.
Don’t let taxpayers pay for a state funeral when it’s cheaper and more efficient via privatisation. Let’s do this in her memory. It’s exactly what she would have wanted”:
In wake of ‘Bed-gate,’ PM’s budget made public
By HERB KEINON
NIS 5.43 million budgeted for Netanyahu’s residences in 2012, 80 percent hike from 2009.
The operating budget for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s official and private residences jumped some 80 percent from 2009 to 2012, according to figures made public on Monday following a request by the Movement for Freedom of Information.
According to the organization, the information was provided – after months of requesting – just hours after the group petitioned the court.
Scandal forces PM to revise his ice cream budget
PM cuts demand for in-flight-bed amid media storm
The numbers also came just two days after the public outcry that followed reports the Prime Minister’s Office paid NIS 500,000 to install a sleeping cabin with a double bed on a plane taking Netanyahu and his wife to London last month for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.
According to the figures, some NIS 5.43 million was budgeted for operating and maintenance costs for Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem and private residence in Caesarea in 2012, as opposed to NIS 3.02m. in 2009.
The state paid NIS 480,000 for food and official hospitality in 2012, as opposed to NIS 214,000 in 2009. Cleaning and maintenance costs in the two residences soared from NIS 553,000 in 2009 to NIS 1.2m.
in 2012, and the cost of buying housing utensils and furniture jumped from NIS 61,000 in 2009 to NIS 108,000 last year.
Rightwingers set up Thatcher fund
A rogues’ gallery of internationally renowned rightwingers including Tony Blair and Henry Kissinger have thrown their weight behind a £100 million Thatcher trust fund for “future leaders” at Oxford University.
The Margaret Thatcher Scholarship trust will select 10 “Thatcher scholars” from less wealthy backgrounds around the world and give them a chance to study at the elite university.
Thatcher Day falls
Tuesday 16 July 2013
Breathe a sigh of relief – even dyed-in-the-wool Tories oppose the idea of a “Margaret Thatcher Day.”
The proposal was one of a string of loopy ideas within an alternative Queen’s speech floated by Conservative backbenchers to “win back disillusioned voters.”
A self-publicising poll by disgraced tax-dodger Lord Ashcroft found only 13 per cent agreed with renaming the August bank holiday.
And only about a quarter of voters backed the equally barmy ideas of allowing workers to opt out of the minimum wage or privatising the BBC.
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Israeli foreign ministry staff strike
Employees working for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs struck this week, protesting low wages and poor working conditions. Their action will stop all services provided to foreign dignitaries visiting the country as well as services to Israeli dignitaries planning to go abroad. Israeli consular services will also be affected.
The strike is a resumption of the one that took place last summer which had been suspended following talks with the Finance Ministry. Those talks have have now broken down.
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