Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had his wings clipped by the court of public opinion when he agreed to fly to Washington for the dual signing of pacts with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain aboard the official government charter rather than a private jet hired to ferry the PM, his wife and sons. The original justification for the bizjet was that it would protect Netanyahu from the coronavirus. But with tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrating against him week after week and demanding his resignation for reasons that include a so-called “lavish life-style,” this was clearly deflecting the story from historic foreign policy successes to more of the Netanyahu family saga. The apparent compromise was to switch the official government charter to a larger aircraft where it would be possible to afford the prime minister some additional protective space. Sunday evening’s takeoff is slated to follow a meeting by Israel’s government to determine what is expected to be a draconian set of restrictions on the public in an effort to slow down the runaway rise in new coronavirus infections.
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