A Pricey In-Flight Bed Gives Netanyahu Political Nightmare | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

How 'Gatsby' Went From A Moldering Flop To A Great American Novel

In So We Read On, Maureen Corrigan looks at the story behind The Great Gatsby, from F. Scott Fitzgerald's life to the era in which it's set. Originally broadcast Sept. 8, 2014.
NPR

Census Reveals Universe Of Marine Microbes At Bottom Of The Food Chain

The ocean's tiniest inhabitants — including bacteria, plankton, krill — are food for most everything that swims or floats. Now, scientists have completed a count of this vast and diverse hidden world.
NPR

Irish Voters Decide Whether To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Polls show the "yes" vote is stronger in the conservative, predominantly Catholic country. But public opinion surveys could be masking a "shy no vote," observers say.
NPR

The Future Of Cardiology Will Be Shown In 3-D

The Living Heart Project aims to create a detailed simulation of the human heart that doctors and engineers can use to test experimental treatments and interventions.

Leave a Comment

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