Netanyahu's ice cream budget gets frosty reception

By Anna Sheinman, February 15, 2013

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent NIS 10,000 (£1,750) buying ice cream in 2012 - a revelation that has caused anger and a backlash from political opponents in Israel.

Financial newspaper Calcalist revealed that Mr Netanyahu had spent NIS 3,000 by May last year on icy treats and claimed his office had filed a special request for a larger budget to be spent at an ice cream shop near the official residence.

The request stated that the particular parlour was chosen “on the personal taste and desire of the prime minister” and because it was nearby and open late.

The budget would allow the prime minister to consume 167 kilograms of ice cream a year, greater than the weight of a baby elephant.

Labour party leader Shelly Yachimovich posted a picture on Facebook showing an image of the prime minister altered to show him eating an ice cream. It read: "If there's no bread, let them eat ice cream.”

Mr Netanyahu has reportedly since cancelled the agreement with the parlour and blamed his staff for the apparent extravagance.

An official at the prime minister's office reportedly said Mr Netanyahu had not known about the budget until Thursday and had cancelled it, saying it was "unacceptable".

Last updated: 4:00pm, February 15 2013