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Will the real PM please rest up?

Old-school prime minister Menachem Begin didn’t need no double bed, unlike Netanyahu

Menachem Begin sleeping on the way to the United States in this undated archive photo. (photo credit: David Rubinger/Yedioth Ahronoth)
Menachem Begin sleeping on the way to the United States in this undated archive photo. (photo credit: David Rubinger/Yedioth Ahronoth)

This week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced heavy criticism after it was revealed Saturday that he had spent $127,000 of taxpayer money to install a double bed on his five-hour El Al flight to England last month for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral.

It wasn’t always this way, as shown by a photograph of former prime minister Menachem Begin — which went viral on Monday.

The photo, released on Facebook by legendary photojournalist David Rubinger, shows an archive image of Begin sleeping on the 12-hour flight to the United States, half-sitting on ordinary seats in what looks like an uncomfortable position, albeit with extra pillows.

“It seems that Menachem Begin was dumb. He didn’t know what a real prime minister deserves. Twelve hours to America without a double bed,” Rubinger captioned the photo in Hebrew.

It obviously struck a chord: Although Rubinger, 88, has only a few hundred Facebook friends, within three hours of the photo being posted it had been shared over a thousand times and been repackaged and shared by an Israeli photo group on Facebook.

Some users of the social network riffed on the original photo to bring out the absurdity of the comparison between Netanyahu and Begin.

(Photo credit: Amir Schiby/Facebook)
(Photo credit: Amir Schiby/Facebook)

Rubinger, who for decades covered Israel on behalf of Time Magazine and other publications before his retirement, achieved fame for his iconic photograph of young Israeli soldiers at the Western Wall after its capture by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War.

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