Netanyahu Flies Into Turbulence Over $127,000 Bed On Plane


netanyahuThe Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has encountered severe turbulence after it emerged that he ordered a bed to be installed on a plane that carried him and his  wife, Sara, to Baroness Thatcher’s funeral in London last month – at a cost of $127,000 (£83,000).

The revelation comes amid growing resentment over an austerity budget proposed by the finance minister Yair Lapid, a former TV personality who won popular support in January’s election by promising to champion Israel’s financially squeezed middle class. Up to 15,000 people demonstrated in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities  in an echo of the massive social justice protests that swept the country two years ago.

Following an outcry over the cost of installing a “rest chamber” on the chartered El Al flight, Netanyahu’s office said that henceforth no sleeping cabins would be provided on short-haul flights to Europe.

Initially, officials defended the move – disclosed by Israel’s Channel 10 on Friday evening – in a statement that was immediately mocked by commentators for its detailed account of Netanyahu’s schedule.

The statement said: “The prime minister took off for London on the night after Independence Day, in the course of which he attended a reception for outstanding soldiers at the presidential residence, the World Bible Quiz, a reception for diplomatic personnel in Israel and the Israel prize ceremony. The flight was booked for midnight after a day full of events, and afterwards the prime minister was to represent the state of Israel at a number of official international events, including meetings with the prime ministers of Canada and Britain. It is acceptable for the prime minister of Israel to be able to rest at night between two packed days as those.”

El Al, Israel’s national airline, was paid $427,000 for the charter flight, including the cost of the chamber. A smaller plane, without sleeping quarters, would have cost $300,000, according to Israeli media reports.

Channel 10 pointed out that the Israeli president, Shimon Peres, who will be 90 next month, spent an 11-hour flight to South Korea seated in business class.

Read more at The Guardian.

{ Israel}


  1. Fly well, Mr. Netanyahu. I hope the bed does not hurt the budget too much. And remember, you are going to have a better time in Israel and the rest of the world since you are EDUCATED.

  2. This is silly.
    I am not a zionist, but any president, prime minister, king or head of country has the right to do such a thing.
    If he deems he needs rest, as big international decisions arise from these meetings.
    I know I cant sleep on a regular seat plane.
    This is really silly news.

  3. He is permitted to sleep on the plae, but why does it have to cost $127.000? Can’t he simply stretch out on 3 seats like we would do?

  4. Good grief. How many poor Holocaust survivors could you feed for a year on that money? Somebody’s lost their sense of proportion.