When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is in the Knesset, he might find a reason to smile when he spots a photo exhibition right outside his office that features three pictures of him with his wife and two sons.
“Prime Ministers in Slippers,” an exhibition of prime ministers caught on camera at informal moments, is being displayed on the ministers’ floor of the Knesset.
Providing a rare glimpse into prime ministers’ “off-duty” lives, it was initiated by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and the Government Press Office in honor of the GPO’s 80th anniversary. It was curated by GPO photographer Avi Ohayon and Knesset curator Sharon Sofer.
The photos include David Ben-Gurion taking care of goats at Kibbutz Sde Boker, Yitzhak Rabin playing with his grandchildren in a pool, and Menachem Begin blowing out candles on his birthday cake.
In the more recent pictures, Ehud Olmert is shown running in London’s Hyde Park, while Ehud Barak is shown playing the piano at the Prime Minister’s Residence.
Netanyahu’s sons, Yair and Avner, can be seen as young children playing in the snow with their father during his first term as prime minister, and doing the same as young adults last year.
There is only one actual photo of a prime minster in slippers, a picture of Begin taken during a visit to Romania in which he is shown wearing what appear to be pajamas and a silk robe.
Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and family members of former prime ministers attended the exhibition’s dedication last week.
“I asked myself if ‘Prime Ministers in Slippers’ is something we could really see,” Edelstein said, “but even they have quiet moments, even if they’re rare.”
Edelstein complimented GPO photographers for maintaining a good relationship with prime ministers, which allowed them to photograph the leaders’ more intimate moments.
“Photographic technology has changed beyond recognition, but what didn’t change is that we’re all human and all of us need calm moments,” Netanyahu stated.
“[The exhibition] moved my wife, Sara, and me.”