Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.
Menachem Begin at home (photo credit: GPO)
David Ben-Gurion at home (GPO)
Shimon Peres reads a newspaper at a Tel Aviv cafe (photo credit: GPO)
Yitzchak Rabin in the pool with his grandchildren (photo credit: GPO)
The Netanyahu family, winter 2013 (photo credit: GPO)
Former prime minister Ariel Sharon (photo credit: GPO)
Providing an inside look at Israel’s prime ministers after hours, in their casual attire and at their most relaxed, a new Knesset exhibit — “Prime Ministers in Their Slippers” — opened on Wednesday.
Photographs displayed include one of former premier Menachem Begin sitting at home and reading a newspaper, Yitzhak Rabin playing with his grandchildren at the pool, and Benjamin Netanyahu and family cavorting in the snow.
In honor of the exhibit’s inauguration, a reception was held on Wednesday, attended by Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, who as a former prime minister was also featured in the show.
“I asked myself is there such a thing as a ‘prime minister in slippers?‘” said Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, who organized the exhibit in conjunction with the Government Press Office. “For even now, at this festive event, we were informed about a rocket barrage from Gaza at the southern cities. Nonetheless, there are probably quiet moments, even if they are rare.”
“While the photography technologies have changed beyond recognition, what has remained the same is the fact that we are all human,” Netanyahu said. “And we all need those quiet moments. You’ve moved me and my wife, Sara.”
The photography display marks 80 years since the founding of the GPO.
“Prime ministers always moved between public and private spheres, and the public figure’s privacy pays the price,” GPO Director Nitzan Chen said. “But alongside those formal moments there are others, and these too were immortalized by the GPO photographers.”
The exhibit is open to the public and it is expected it will be viewed by some 150,000 visitors every year.
Golda Meir in a casual moment (photo credit: GPO)
Levy Eshkol (sitting) and his wife, Miriam, at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem (photo credit: GPO)
Shimon Peres with his wife, Sonia, now deceased (photo credit: GPO)
Levi Eshkol straddles the Jordan River (photo credit: GPO)
Yitzhak Shamir reels in the catch of the day (photo credit: GPO)
A young Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enjoys quality time with his family (photo credit: GPO)