This too, shall pass, was the message mayors of cities, towns, and villages throughout Israel had for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a day after the State Comptroller knocked him and his wife Sara for “excessive spending” of state funds on cleaning services and entertainment.
In a letter of support to Netanyahu, designed to counter the nearly-unrelenting attacks on the Prime Minister in the media over the contents of the report, the mayors said that they, and the people, were still with him.
“We want to strengthen your standing in the wake of the wild attacks against you by your political opponents, and to express our appreciation for all you have done for the State of Israel,” the letter, signed by nearly fifty mayors said.
“The criticism against you, even if legitimate, has turned into a circus of unbalanced attacks based on election politics. We are especially distressed at the personal attacks on you and your wife,” it added.
State Comptroller Yosef Shapira’s report, published Tuesday, outlined how the Prime Minister's Residence expenses went from 1.86 million shekels in 2009 to 2.4 million shekels in 2010, inflating further to 3.11 million in 2011. This ballooning trend stopped in 2012 when the expenses fells to 2.86 million shekels, and further to 2.41 million shekels in 2013.
Detailing the expenses further, the report found Netanyahu and his family ordered 71,851 shekels (over $18,000) in prepared meals in 2010, making up roughly a quarter of the food expenses of the Residence, despite having a cook on staff. That figure rose further to 92,781 shekels ($24,000) in 2011.
While there was certainly room to discuss the legitimacy of those expenses – which even the report itself said were justified in some cases – the bald-faced attacks on Netanyahu by a long list of spokespeople for the left were totally unjustified, as they reeked of a personal dislike, even hate, of the Prime Minister, unrelated to the issues.
“Your great accomplishments are evident to the public, and we are proud to know that, even according to the newest polls, that the majority of Israelis believe that you are the right person to lead the country,” the letter added.