Churchill-style escapism: Sometimes, good champagne and cigar smoke curling are also necessary for leadership
Many bad things can be said about Netanyahu, but his fondness for the pleasures of life, as reflected in the testimonies in the 1000 case, is clearly not a cause for condemnation.
If anything, it is commendable
Tuesday, 05 July 2022, 18:16 Updated: 18:30
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In the video: The testimony of Hadas Klein, Arnon Milchen's personal assistant, begins (Photo: Roni Kanfo)
I will open with due diligence: I am not a fan of opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu.
He was not my favorite candidate to run the country - and I doubt he will be in the future.
And although I do not support him, the case known as the "1000 case", has meanwhile mostly given me reasons to respect him and his wife, not to mention to like them.
Let's start with what appears in the indictment and in the testimony of Hadas Klein, Arnon Milchen's assistant, which was heard at the court hearing.
True, it's not nice to demand (ostensibly) a businessman to petition you for gifts, but hey - Dom Perignon or Moat Shando champagnes, or cigars from the well-known Kohiba brand, are the kind of things I would happily get from any billionaire looking for my way to my heart (seemingly of course ).
Or to be more specific: in my opinion, this is a treat that indicates understanding and enjoyment in style - especially when compared to the treats that Naftali Bennett showered on his family in the form of kosher sushi or pizzas from restaurants that sell mainly in the Raanana area.
A treat that indicates understanding and hedonism in style.
Netanyahu smokes a cigar and his wife Sarah (Photo: AP)
Moreover: I followed what is known as the "discourse on social networks" and to the best of my judgment, some of those who talked about the hedonistic lifestyle of the Netanyahu couple, lead a not very ascetic lifestyle themselves.
Some of them, whom I know well, sin, RL, in smoking great cigars from Cuba or savoring the expensive ones in the drinking
bottles. Once upon a time, your faithful servant owned a man with a good capacity for
- and even I could not drink three bottles of champagne a day without getting heartburn from hell.
The Netanyahu family's sparkling wine, but the suspicion that the former prime minister acted improperly in the service of Arnon Milchen, in exchange for regular allocations of cigars and champagne.
I also find it a little hard to believe this: even those who despise Netanyahu - and there are quite a few, do not suspect that he is, sorry for the phrase, an idiot.
In other words: a person who could benefit (seemingly of course) to a billionaire for greed, would find something a little more significant than a perishable liquid or a burnt tobacco leaf.
He who has only luxury before his eyes, does not deserve leadership.
Kohiva Cigar (Photo: ShutterStock)
Even the nostalgic longing for modesty in the style of prime ministers like David Ben-Gurion or Menachem Begin is a bit fake.
Would any of us have changed with the lifestyle of his parents, loved and respected as they may be?
Absolutely not - in that generation modesty was a value and asceticism (real or fake), was something to be proud of.
I admit that I like Yair Lapid very much, but I did not like when he decided, when he entered politics, to stop consuming whiskey and cigars, two of his great loves from his days in the media.
Why did I not like?
Because I prefer a leader who, at the end of an 18-hour workday, sits in an armchair, lights a cigar for himself, pours a glass of whiskey (or any other misty liquid) and takes a decent sip and curls a puff of smoke toward the ceiling.
I promise you that at a moment like this, better solutions to the needs of the State of Israel may be found than in a cabinet meeting or in the General Staff forum. How do I know? Proud and determined as to the roots of his throbbing hair, there was one who opened the morning with a glass of whiskey in bed - and kept sipping throughout the day. Who knows? Considered invincible.
Do not get me wrong: Anyone who has only alcohol, cigars and other luxuries in front of his eyes is not worthy of leadership.
On the other hand, anyone who knows how to enjoy them to a degree is, in my opinion, immeasurably better than a Tehran leader, ascetic and serious-minded - such ideological monks, the last time I checked, were mainly in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
One can, of course, criticize Netanyahu, even hoping he loses in court, but let's admit the problem is not champagne, cigars, treatment of the center's staff or any other gossipy detail that leaked on the Balfour-Caesarea axis during the 12 years leading up to the change government.
The longing for modesty is false.
David Ben-Gurion, Peres and Dayan (Photo: Government Press Office, Hans Finn)
There were "similar but different" stories about Paula Ben-Gurion, Leah Rabin - and other prime ministers and their wives.
While I tell you emphatically: If I had been whole with Netanyahu's ideology, I would not have cared even if at night the family would have locked themselves in the prime minister's residence and abused the Mishkan staff after celebrating with a sip of champagne or smoking cigars.
None of those who rejoiced at Netanyahu's Edo in the face of the evidence, in terms of "if not convicted then at least embarrassed," had no problem with such manifestations of hedonism.
How did I come to such a far-reaching conclusion?
Maybe because until less than a week ago there was a prime minister here who declared above all in what he did not even need a penny from the state, after making a fortune in high-tech.
And now at the end of a year it turned out that he and his family spend 11,000 shekels a month just on ordering food from restaurants (legal but disgusting to me) and not only that, but now he is waging a gathering battle for the right to a bureau, attached car and other benefits reserved for a prime minister who served at least 18 months .
Where were most of those who today revolve around the ostentatious lifestyle of the Netanyahu, whether in the institutionalized media or over the alternative media platforms?
Oh, it's terribly simple: to their credit it should be said that they do not fire inside the ADF. It turns out that they do not even light a cigar in it.
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