It appears that ‘inflated’ spending by the Prime Minister’s Residence is no more than during the tenure of Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon when they served as prime ministers, lending legitimacy to those who opine the media has always targeted the Netanyahus and continues to do so.
PM Binyamin Netanyahu continues releasing messages that he obeys the law, and the case built alleging inflated spending by Mrs. Netanyahu in the official Prime Minister’s Residence is due to the “obsessiveness of the media”.
In fact, it appears Mr. Netanyahu has a basis for his remarks and documents to show the spending during his tenure is in line with that of predecessors ordering sumptuous meals to the Prime Minister’s Residence.
It turns out that while the wife of the prime minister is accused of, the total cost of which is estimated at around NIS 360,000, an examination of the invoices issued during the tenure of former prime ministers Olmert and Sharon reveals that the high spending attributed to the Netanyahus is in line with the spending during the tenure and the State Attorney’s Office drafted the indictment, is not exceptional in comparison to the term of office of Olmert and Sharon.
For example, during Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s tenure as prime minister, 9,106 shekels was deposited under “Pesach hospitality” for food ordered from the Mount Zion Hotel, when it is almost half of the expenditure the Netanyahu family spent on food expenditure throughout 2010.
Whereas in Sharon’s tenure, invoices were presented for food order services issued by the Hilton Hotel in May 2001, during which Sharon spent 12,500 shekels for a residence on Balfour Street and 8,063 shekels for “refreshments for events at the Sycamore Ranch” (7.2001). In total, 20,000 shekels is food for hosting in only three months, according to the report published in Yisrael Hayom.
These sums are in line with the spending by the Netanyahus but in the case of the latter, the media would have us believe their expenditures are far more than others who served in the same office.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)