Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:
IMRA asked the Ministry of Tourism for their comment on the item below.
Here is a translation of their response:
Dear Aaron Lerner,
In response to your inquiry, the Ministry of Tourism did not pay for the
It would be our pleasure to assist you in the future.
Have a great day!
The Emanuels Feast in Eilat – Israel Foots Bill
by Gil Ronen IsraelNationalNews.com Published: 05/23/10, 11:20 PM / Last
Update: 05/23/10, 11:29 PM
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and his family dined on seafood at
an Eilat restaurant and left the bill for the Israeli Tourism Ministry,
according to reports in Israeli media. The report was met with consternation
by MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari of the National Union, who wants the bill sent
back to Emanuel.
Emanuel is in Israel on a private visit, not an official one, with his
parents, wife, children and other family members, to make preparations for
his son's upcoming Bar Mitzvah. Upon arrival in Israel Friday, the Emanuels
headed for Eilat, where they dined on seafood at a restaurant. After the
(unkosher) meal, which included cheviche (citrus marinaded seafood),
calamari (fried squid), various fish, salads and hamburgers, the bill was
handed over to a Ministry of Tourism representative who accompanied the
Ben-Ari fired off a letter to the Attorney General in which he said: "I was
amazed to hear that following the sumptuous meal at the 'Boston' restaurant
Emanuel handed the bill to a Ministry of Tourism representative who was
present. In my humble legal opinion there is no possibility of making the
State of Israel pay for such a meal, as part of a private visit by the White
House Chief of Staff and his family.”
"The public coffers are not up for grabs and the fact that the gentleman
[Emanuel] sponsors anti-Semitic policies in the White House is certainly no
justification for digging into the public coffer at the expense of the old
lady in the corridor of the hospital,” Ben-Ari added – in a reference to the
shortage of hospital beds in Israel, which is attributed to budgetary
"I ask you, sir, to immediately cancel the debiting of the Ministry of
Tourism's account and to promptly send the bill directly to Mr. Emanuel's
private home,” he added.
It is not known where the Bar Mitzvah ceremony will take place. Nationalists
have said that they will prevent Emanuel from celebrating at the Kotel
(Western Wall). There have been reports that the ceremony will be held at
the Robinson's Arch part of the Wall, which is slightly removed from the
public area and which serves those of the Reform and Conservative
communities who wish to hold prayer services that differ noticeably from
traditional ones, as only traditional services are allowed at the public
part of the Wall.
The media-savvy Emanuel made no attempt to keep his family's culinary
experience in Eilat -- at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer -- from
becoming known to the Israeli media and even posed for a picture with the
restaurant's chef. The event might therefore be interpreted by some as a
deliberate message by Emanuel, in keeping with a line of theatrically
insulting messages to Israel delivered by the White House since it came
under Emanuel's direction. The most notorious of these was the photograph
released by the White House of President Barack Obama speaking to Israeli
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with his feet propped up on his desk and
the soles thrust at the camera.