NPR : News

Filed Under:

A Pricey In-Flight Bed Gives Netanyahu Political Nightmare

First it was ice cream, now a good night's sleep.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing criticism for spending $127,000 of public money to outfit an El Al jet with a double bed plus a wall around it so he and his wife could rest well (and privately) on a flight to London last month. The couple was attending the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

A commentator for Israeli's biggest-selling daily paper, Yedioth Ahronoth, called Netanyahu a king, with this front page headline: "Where Is The Shame?"

Israeli media quoted Netanyahu's office as saying he needed to be fresh for meetings with world leaders after the funeral, and he was unaware of the cost.

It's a bad time for Israeli public officials to splurge: The Cabinet is debating a budget that would cut about a billion dollars from Israel's defense budget. This weekend thousands of people protested proposed social cuts in the budget as well.

The ice cream scandal earlier this year was on a smaller scale, but perhaps more flavorful (pistachio in particular). In February, the public learned they were footing the bill for $2,700 per year worth of ice cream, some 25 pounds a month, to be delivered to the prime minister's home. Netanyahu put that contract into deep freeze as soon as it became public. He's likely hoping this latest controversy heads into deep sleep soon.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Pack These Pages: Three Must-Reads For Summer

Harriet Logan, owner of Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights, Ohio, recommends a graphic novel about trash, a George Eliot classic and a children's book about a bear pianist.
NPR

Why Does Every New Restaurant Look Like A Factory?

The stripped-down look of exposed brick, poured cement floors, and Edison light bulbs is popular in restaurants across America. One reporter dares to ask, "Seriously, why?"
WAMU 88.5

Why Local Nonprofits Haven't Fixed Poverty

As long as there has been poverty, there have been people trying to end it. We explore the obstacles and inefficiencies local nonprofits run into when trying to solve society's stubborn problem.

WAMU 88.5

Can We Trust Our Cars?

There were more airbag recalls this week, and VW has agreed to pay nearly fifteen billion in its emissions cheating scandal. Meanwhile, cars with driverless technology are becoming available, but whether they will make us safer is up for debate. A look at auto safety and consumer trust.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.