Quantcast

Jewish Journal

Netanyahu to skip Mandela memorial due to high travel, security costs

JTA

December 9, 2013 | 10:35 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Dec. 8. Photo by Uriel Sinai/Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Dec. 8. Photo by Uriel Sinai/Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not attend a memorial service in South Africa for Nelson Mandela due to the high cost of transportation and security.

The decision was announced late Sunday, hours before Netanyahu’s scheduled departure the following day for the memorial event to be held Tuesday at Johannesburg’s FNB stadium.

Some 70 world leaders, many heads of states, as well as all living U.S. presidents and more than two dozen members of the U.S. Congress, are scheduled to attend the event, which will include about 150,000 people.

Israeli President Shimon Peres, recovering from the flu, decided not to attend the memorial after consulting with his doctor, according to the Times of Israel. The costs to send the president reportedly are significantly lower.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein or Justice Minister Tzipi Livni will represent Israel at the funeral, according to the Times of Israel.

Netanyahu’s decision comes less than a week after the disclosure of the high amount of taxpayer money spent on the prime minister’s official residence and his two private residences.

The cost to send Netanyahu to the Mandela memorial would have been nearly $2 million, including chartering a private plane and transporting security personnel and equipment, according to Haaretz.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators reportedly were expected to greet Netanyahu in South Africa.

Tracker Pixel for Entry

COMMENTS

We welcome your feedback.

Privacy Policy
Your information will not be shared or sold without your consent. Get all the details.

Terms of Service
JewishJournal.com has rules for its commenting community.Get all the details.

Publication
JewishJournal.com reserves the right to use your comment in our weekly print publication.

ADVERTISEMENT
PUT YOUR AD HERE