Benjamin Netanyahu released an elections campaign ad on Saturday making light of the series of rows he has been involved in — and a few fictitious ones — and accusing his critics of not focusing on more substantive issues.
The clip begins with the prime minister speaking in English on the phone with an unnamed foreign president, when a flustered aide storms into his office and interrupts Netanyahu’s conversation.
“Mr. Prime Minister, there is a new scandal — Netanyahu and the snails in the garden!” his aide declares, holding the front page of a newspaper featuring a picture of a slimy gastropod.
הניסיון להסיח את דעת הציבור מהנושא היחיד שעומד על הפרק לא יצלח: מי ישמור על ביטחון ילדינו ויצמיח את הכלכלה והחברה – ממשלת ליכוד חזקה ונחושה בראשות נתניהו או ממשלת שמאל כנועה וחלשה עם ציפי ובוז׳י.
Posted by Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו on sestdiena, 2015. gada 7. februāris
The aide returns to Netanyahu’s office in a series of scenes to alert him to comical “scandals”:
“Prime Minister, the case of the dirty cups in the sink! It’s on Ynet!”
“Oh, come on!” Netanyahu exclaims.
After other fictitious stories concerning undernourished goldfish — “But I’m feeding them,” says the PM, as he drops feed into the goldfish bowl on his desk — a noisy air-conditioner, a wobbly chair, an unanswered phone call, a popsicle that dripped on a couch, and a sound “boom” in the frame (which hits the aide on the head).
Eventually, the prime minister addresses his audience while seated at his desk, accusing his critics of trying to distract voters from more important matters.
“They want to shift your attention away from real things by dealing with nonsense, but we deal with real things,” Netanyahu states, addressing topics related to security and the economy.
The 74-second clip ends with the aide asking the prime minister if he would like anything to drink, and Netanyahu using the opportunity to poke fun over a non-fictitious row involving him and his wife, Sara. “You know what? I’m craving ice cream, but not pistachio,” he says.
The two were criticized after a 2013 report uncovered the Netanyahus received an annual budget of 10,000 shekels ($2,568) for buying ice cream from a high-end gelateria near the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem. They were reported to have frequently ordered pistachio and vanilla ice cream.
The Netanyahus recently came under fire in a scandal dubbed “Bottlegate,” after the prime minister’s wife was accused of bilking the state out of 24,000 NIS ($6,676) by pocketing the small change from bottle deposits during the first four years of her husband’s time in office.
The couple was also alleged to have spent NIS 100,000 ($25,679) of taxpayer money on alcohol in a two-year period, a claim derided by the Likud as a left-wing plot “to bring down the prime minister.”
Lazar Berman and Jonathan Beck contributed to this report.
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