Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who’s been under a massive attack from the media at home and abroad, now had to endure a video of his wife, Sara, showing interior designer and TV personality Moshik Galamin around the couple’s official residence in Jerusalem.
The 15-minute video showed Sara walking Galamin through the residence, touching dusty spots and displaying creaking, old doors and dilapidated rugs.
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Some of the less attractive areas turned out to be not of the prime minister’s quarters, but of the serving staff, which the Daily Mail celebrated as being very embarrassing to Netanyahu, except that the prime minister has no time for those slights, busy as he is with the AG looking into the possibility of taking him to court over mishandling funds in running the home.
Then there was another complaint from Netanyahu’s detractors, that the whole shoot was inappropriate, because either it was paid for by the Netanyahu government—in which case it’s forbidden under the campaign finance laws, or it was paid for by Galamin, the host of a home remodeling show, which makes it an illegal promotion for his business.
Then Yuval Diskin, a former internal security chief, said doing the video violated the need for secrecy regarding the prime minister’s residence, because it provided the terrorists with a detailed layout of the house — just add explosives.
So then the Likud campaign reminded Diskin that the actual blueprints for the residence have been available online for years, something he should probably have known, being the former internal security chief and all.
Of course, Netanyahu has had his own cheap shots in this campaign, so no one is saying he didn’t deserve it. But rank and file Israeli citizens have become increasingly disgusted with the hoopla from both ends of the political spectrum.
Close to 25 percent of Israel’s population is living below the poverty line, with more slipping there every year. The country is plagues by unreasonably high taxes, an unbearable cost of living, and a concentration of wealth in few private hands that has no comparison in the industrial world. Young couples can’t buy their own apartment, good jobs are scarce — and close to 60 percent of the voters keep telling pollsters that the economy is their most crucial concern.
Why, then, are the media so preoccupied with stupid and nasty tidbits, when this election should be an opportunity for debating how to raise Israelis’ quality of life? Possibly because Israel’s media are even worse than its politicians — and that’s saying a lot.