“Right now, Likud Party supporters are split between those who plan to take some anti-nausea medication before voting for [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, and those who are convinced that the left-wing media are trying to bring him down, making their support for the Likud only stronger.”
This analysis of the political state of affairs in the Likud comes from none other than a senior Likud official, the morning after all the outrage over the state comptroller’s Feb. 17 report on “expenses associated with the prime minister’s residences.” In other words, it was a reaction to reports of ostentatious spending and an overly indulgent lifestyle in Netanyahu’s two homes. The report, released exactly one month before the March 17 elections, describes the Netanyahu family as completely aloof and unrestrained in the use of public funds. It is true that testimonies about what actually takes place in the premier's official residence on Jerusalem's Balfour Street are hardly news, and the vast cost of maintaining their private home in Caesarea has long been public knowledge. This time, however, the uninhibited spending feast is a verified fact, bearing the imprimatur of the state comptroller.