He has been in the opposition for a while, but Benjamin Netanyahu continues to occupy the tempers in Israel. The former Prime Minister, who is currently enjoying a luxurious holiday in Hawaii, is said to have pushed back dozens of gifts he received from world leaders in recent years. The presents officially belong to the state and the new Prime Minister‘s office demands Netanyahu give them back.
These include a glass box with gold leaf that Barack Obama received ‘Bibi‘ during their first meeting at the White House, an antique bible by Russian President Putin, and a framed document signed by Donald Trump with which the then President officially moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The legal adviser to Prime Minister Bennett’s office recently wrote a letter to Netanyahu and his wife requesting that the gifts be returned.
She received no response. The gifts are officially part of the state, but the head of government may borrow them to show them during his tenure.
Netanyahu is said to have withheld numerous gifts during his first period as Prime Minister as well. Police were pushing for legal prosecution at the time, but the prosecution refrained because there would be too little evidence.
The Netanyahus now inform through a spokesperson that they are not in possession of the gifts. The former Prime Minister himself is currently on holiday in the United States, despite a call from the current government to all Israelis not to leave the country due to the corona pandemic.
Netanyahu allegedly had lunch last week with the Jewish-American billionaire Larry Ellison, the co-founder of Oracle, according to the TV news. Ellison has been called by the prosecution to testify in one of three corruption cases running against the former Prime Minister.