The car is also luxurious, and it’s a costly perk, but the costs could be higher without them
Once a person has work, he needs transportation to get to work.
For Israeli Knesset member, that’s no problem, because a company car is part of the compensation. Cabinet ministers get even bigger cars, and the prime minister is chauffeured to work in a luxury car.
In America, the president rides in a convoy of two armored limousines known as “the Beast.”
Israel’s version of the animal is an Audi 8, with a price tag of NIS 800,000 ($230,000).
But now, Israel has two prime ministers — Binyamin Netanyahu, whom most people voted for, and the one who according to the coalition agreement will take over Bibi’s job in 17 months, Benny Gantz. The coalition agreement calls for Gantz to receive the same perks Bibi enjoys, so last week’s scandal du jour in the Israel press was how many millions of shekels Gantz is costing the taxpayer for his two Audi 8s.
The reality is that the second car is part of a special security contingent. The car’s windows are specially darkened to ensure that nobody knows which one the prime minister is riding in. Israel’s enemies (Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran) have periodically threatened the lives of top Israeli officials in retaliation for IDF targeted assassinations of their top honchos.
It’s an expense the taxpayer must bear to protect a prime minister, as well as a future prime minister currently serving as defense minister. Bibi and Benny must often travel at high speeds to defense headquarters in Tel Aviv to make life-and-death decisions, and their vehicles must be suitably armored and outfitted with sophisticated encrypted communications devices. Yes, the car is also luxurious, and it’s a costly perk, but the costs could be higher without them.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 814)
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