The Knesset passed an amendment to an income tax law that makes payments, services and benefits from Israel’s state treasury to the prime minister or to former prime ministers that are connected to work they have done or do in their political role, exempt from taxes.The bill, sponsored by MK Miki Zohar (Likud), passed with 50 MKs in support and 44 against. According to a statement released by the Knesset, hundreds of objections were raised to the bill.Zohar said in the Knesset statement about the bill, “The prime minister has a home in Caesarea, but in the end he does not have the financial ability, relative to the salary he gets, to cover the upkeep of this house.”MK Mickey Rosenthal (Zionist Union), in his own statement, called the bill a low point for Israel’s legislature and said it allows elected officials to steal public funds for the benefit of the prime minister and his family.
“Not only will we continue to finance the private expenses of the Netanyahu family, but from now on we will also pay the taxes on the benefits they will receive,” he said. “The Netanyahu family refuses to pull out their wallet and insists on milking more and more of the public coffers.”Rosenthal cited the recent indictment against Sara Netanyahu, saying even that “does not stop them,” adding that he has yet to hear any reasonable explanation from Netanyahu’s coalition about the bill.MK Dov Henin (Joint List) also objected to the bill, saying in a statement, “Why does the public also need to pay for the water in Netanyahu’s pool… and why is [this exemption] more important and more urgent than raising old-age pensions?”He called the general agenda advanced by Netanyahu’s government “a disgrace.”
Israeli PM Netanyahu"s wife, Sara Netanyahu, charged with fraud, June 21, 2018 (Reuters)