Latest Information:
The Two-Way
11:57 am
Fri February 15, 2013

After Outrage, Benjamin Netanyahu's Ice Cream Budget Melts Away

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 8:42 am

It is perhaps one of the more frivolous stories out of the Middle East; still, it's tasty, so we'll tell you about it: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has angered his opponents by budgeting 10,000 Shekels ($2,716) to buy ice cream for his household.

As The Guardian reports, the news came at an inconvenient time for Netanyahu's coalition government: They had just proposed an austerity budget that cut benefits for public workers.

The Guardian adds:

"Shelly Yacimovich, leader of the opposition Labor party, took to Facebook on hearing the news, posting a Photoshopped picture of the prime minister wielding an ice-cream cone.

"'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'?' she quipped."

As you might imagine, as soon as the ice cream scandal hit the news, Netanyahu put the plan on ice.

Haaretz reports that yesterday he "dismissed the expense as extravagant and therefore unacceptable."

The Times of Israel reports that the prime minister had already racked up a $2,700 bill on ice cream by May of last year. So the $2,716 budget was filed as a "a special request for budgeting thousands of shekels more for ice cream from a nearby shop that Netanyahu especially liked..."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.