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.