Fresco by Scotto, the non-kosher Manhattan Italian restaurant picked by Prime Minister Netanyahu and his patron, Casino Magnate Sheldon Adelson, for their get together following Bibi’s UN Assembly speech this week (See Bibi, Sheldon, Doing Traif Italian Lunch After UN Assembly Speech), has become the focal point of a raging storm in Israel’s Haredi newspapers.
After all, those newspaper argued, a prime minister so vociferous on the rights of Jews to a variety of territories and security guarantees could spend some time concentrating on the obligations of those same Jews, at least when he’s dining in public.
They dubbed it “The pig restaurant” scandal, even though, according to the NY Post, Bibi had veal chops.
Now the daily Maariv has revealed that after his lunch at the pig joint, Netanyahu was the guest of honor at a dinner with a group of Jewish billionaires at the Chart House, a sea food joint offering crabs, calamari and shrimp, which are all on the don’t list in Leviticus.
And while the pig lunch with Sheldon could pass for a private affair—just a meeting of a man and his sugar daddy—the Chart House gig was as official as they come. Present were Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer and his wife, Netanyahu’s chief of staff Ari Harow, and Netanyahu’s man in New York Ze’ev Rubinstein.
The tycoons munching on forbidden crawlers included Mort Zuckerman, Morad Zamir, Daniel Levi and Israel Schwartz.
Maariv noted that one of the billionaires at the table was Spencer Partridge, who gained notoriety a while back over the “Bibitours” scandal – he airlifted Netanyahu and his family around North America on his private jet, which the Israeli AG investigated for a while. Now the case was closed and so the friendship can be renewed over a plate of Shrimp.
A reader criticized my coverage of Bibi’s pig lunch, calling it “hate speech.” I suppose she will have something to say about this piece, too. I don’t believe I’ve advocated outright hatred for Bibi – but I did question his judgment. Manhattan is packed with quality kosher restaurants, every one of which would have been delighted to close for a day and feed just Bibi and his deep pockets.
It’s not a crime for Israel’s prime minister to eat traif in public, but it’s certainly in bad taste. Even when the meal is delicious.