Lets take a lighter look at the headlines in Israel today…
Many of you know that the cost of living in Israel is high.
You may recall that last year there was a little uproar about the cost to Israeli taxpayers for the upkeep of their Prime Minister's personal home in Caesarea.
Then there was the ice cream affair…
The latest controversy to hit the media is again over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's expense accounts at his various official and private residences
Mr. and Mrs. Netanyahu apparently haven't quite yet learned to economize.
To be fair, the Netanyahu's have three places of residence in Israel…
In addition to his private estate along the Mediterranean, the Netanyahu's own a home located a few hundred yards from the Official State Residence in the heart of Jerusalem.
As Prime Minister he is budgeted with State funds for maintaining his properties because official work and private State business occasionally occure at these locations.
Total: 3.2 million Israeli Shekels per annum for three homes. The problem is that the Netanyahu's residences have gone 1.1 million Israeli Shekels over budget.
Israeli taxpayers have paid 1.2 million Israeli Shekels for cleaning, 6,000 Israeli Shekels for scented candles, 95,000 Israeli Shekels for flowers and 82,266 Israeli Shekels for the water bill at the Caesarea home – which is used only on weekends.
I'll let you do the math: One US Dollar is roughly 3.5 Israeli Shekels.
The Prime Minister's Office responded by saying, in part, that: “…an awful injustice is being done to him (Mr. Netanyahu).” Expenses have actually been reduced by 16% this year for the Prime Minister's residence.
Either way, this is becoming an annual ritual of attack claim Netanyahu's supporters.
They say that media outlets are supporting political opponents of Bibi's and are orchestrating a campaign against him.
Regardless of the scheming or not, at a period when the Prime Minister may well call on Israelis to tighten their belts and make sacrifices, and factory workers are loosing their jobs, news like this from one's leadership is no laughing matter.
Middle East Correspondent