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The PM’s official home isn’t Netanyahu’s personal castle; he should leave ASAP

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The official residence of the prime minister on the corner of Balfour and Smolenskin streets in Jerusalem is one of relatively humble location and modest appointments, but during his past 12 years in office Benjamin Netanyahu wielded it as an implement of power: Those he sought to honor received invitations for personal meetings there; those with whom scores needed to be settled were snubbed.

For instance, Ayelet Shaked — the new interior minister, who started her political career managing Netanyahu’s office and who is despised by his wife, Sara — has never visited the residence. On the other hand, when Netanyahu recently sought to recruit the help of Mansour Abbas, head of the Islamist Ra’am party, in forming a government, he signaled his seriousness by inviting him to Balfour.

Even now, with a new government and a new prime minister sworn in, Netanyahu, now head of the opposition, is still living in the historic Beit Aghion as if it were his name on the mortgage payments.

Netanyahu’s office has told aides to his successor, Naftali Bennett, that he will not vacate the official residence for several more weeks at least, Channel 12 reported Monday. The report said Bennett was indifferent, indicating he is making an effort not to antagonize his predecessor.

But Netanyahu is doing more than........

© The Times of Israel

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