"Netanyahu's ice cream habit causes meltdown," is the headline in Friday's "Guardian", in describing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's NIS 10,000 annual budget for gourmet ice cream, adding the budget "to feed his formidable ice cream cravings has caused a media storm in Israel and delivered a gift to his political opponents."
The "Guardian" says, "The timing of this revelation could not have been more inconvenient for the prime minister as he struggles to form a broad coalition government prepared to pass a challenging austerity budget that will squeeze teachers, social workers and police officers." It adds, "Netanyahu has attempted to distance himself from the depiction of him as Israel's equivalent of Marie Antoinette, blaming his staff for the extravagant ice-cream deal."
The Guardian says that the budget afforded Netanyahu's family 14 kilograms of ice cream a month, which was ordered from the Metudela ice cream parlor on Balfour Street in Jerusalem. The paper adds that Netanyahu's favorite flavors are vanilla and pistachio.
The "Guardian adds, "In 2012, Netanyahu and his wife were allocated NIS 2.46 million (£430,000) of taxpayers' money for cleaning, clothing and food - excluding ice cream."
Labor Party chairwoman MK Shelly Yachimovich said in response, "If there's no bread, let them eat ice cream. Should we laugh or cry? Was that what he meant when he said there are no 'free meals'?"
"The Huffington Post" says, "If Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were ice cream, he'd undoubtedly be rocky road. Not only does the flavor speak volumes about the tumultuous Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but it also captures Netanyahu's latest struggle: his losing battle to keep a state-funded budget for luxury ice cream at his official residence."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 17, 2013
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