By now, the world knows that Benjamin Netanyahu is a sucker for pistachio ice cream (the financial website Kalkalit revealed recently that Netanyahu’s 2012 household accounts include close to $3,000 for pistachio and vanilla ice-cream. It means the Netanyahus and their guests (not sure Sara would let the staff have any) scarf down 30 lbs. of ice-cream a month. However do they maintain their girlish figures?)
But prime ministers do not live by ice cream alone: the Netanyahu family purchases food and household items worth close to $30 thousand a year, $2,500 a month—all of them tax payer shekels, mind you—at the Rami Levy supermarkets.
Rami Levy is known as Israel’s no-nonsense marketing tycoon. Rami Levy Hashikma Marketing is the third largest Israeli discount retail supermarket chain, 21 stores, 3,000 employees, annual revenues around $430 million. His aisles are a little less spotlessly clean than the competition, you won’t find fancy fruits and yuppie veggies there, and inquiries with the staff might not always yield useful advice, and the lines at the cashier are longer and less orderly – but everybody in Israel knows, Rami Levy gets you the best prices. Rami Levy also sells no-nonsense cellphones and a slew of other bare essentials goods at very good prices.
Rami Levy, whose company went public in 2007, and who is counted among the richest people in Israel, is also a dyed in the wool Likud supporter. And that explains why the fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu takes the household budget awarded him each year by the taxpayers and puts so much of it in the coffers of his sworn supporters – just doesn’t look so good.
Globes reported that the Prime Minister’s residence has been purchasing from Levi without a bid. That doesn’t smell great either, except for the fact that the regulations don’t require a bid in this case, only common sense.
That’s Rami Levy’s point, by the way. He told Globes: “You know why they started to buy from me? Because three years ago there was an article in a local newspaper in Jerusalem criticizing Netanyahu for not buying at Rami Levy’s, where everything is the cheapest, but instead preferring the fancy shops in Rechavia (Jerusalem’s high rent neighborhood).”
See? You can’t win with us media folks.
The same was true with the pistachio fiasco (that’s a fun word combo): after being slammed from every direction for buying hundreds of pounds of ice cream from a local, fancy parlor, at local fancy parlor prices – the Netanyahus switched to Rami Levy’s nutty delights. Now they’ll have to swear off that, too?
The prime minister’s office is yet to comment on the developing emergency.