Last week Uri Misgav blogged on Haaretz about the “tsar-like rule” of the Netanyahu family. The background for his criticism was the Prime Minister’s state visit to China, to which he took his wife (no news there) and his two sons. The hotel room in Shanghai apparently cost $20,000 a night. The Netanyahus insisted they paid for their children.
As much as I dislike Netanyahu, I thought Misgav was being a little unfair. It is true that our Prime Minister is not known for his frugal ways, but this being a state visit I thought he was allowed some room for personal extras.
But the news yesterday made me realise I was wrong and Misgav was spot on with his scathing criticism of the First Family.
It turns out that for the trip to London last month for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, the Netanyahus asked for the leased aircraft to be fitted with a double bed. Cost to taxpayers: over $125,000. Duration of flight to London: about 4 hours. After this preposterous expense was exposed by a local TV channel, the PM’s office issues a statement saying “Netanyahu was not aware of the decision”, adding that the decision was taken because “it is important that [Netanyahu] sleeps well in order to comply with complex tasks”.