President Shimon Peres on Sunday addressed the "Bibi-tours" affair, in which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is being investigated for accepting plane tickets and hotel rooms from wealthy individuals and organizations.
Speaking several hours before departing for the United States, Peres said that a "uniform procedure for arranging the issue of state officials' travel abroad" should be implemented.
"There must be a standard for everyone," saying that the prime minister should not be discriminated against. "When criticizing," he said, one should be "cautious to avoid character assassination, not only for the prime minister, but also and especially his family."
Peres said that his comments should be taken in the current political and diplomatic context where "prime ministers must visit the Diaspora and appear before foreign governments under pressures [stemming from] hostility towards Israel."