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Netanyahu's Palace

Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's—Mark 12:17



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"Don't write about Netanyahu’s houses, Shin Beth will crucify you!" I could imagine such a reaction if I had consulted my friends about the publication of this article. "They will claim that you are conducting a personal vendetta; that you are answering your violation by the state with a violation of Netanyahu's privacy!" That would have been their subsequent argument. Yet, one of the topics that led to the upcoming elections in Israel was housing. The social protests that characterized Israel in the last couple of years were led by people who demanded proper and accessible housing; I expanded on the scandalous Israeli mortgage practices in Mossad, Matrix and Mortgage. A Zionist Prince, Netanyahu is obtuse to his people's needs; instead, he keeps wasting state funds on illegitimate West Bank settlers. Considering this, there is no choice but to bring out Mr. Netanyahu's housing practices. I apologize, Honorable Bibi, but this is not personal.

Caesarea, Israel

Caesarea, Israel

Jerusalem - Prime Minister Residence

Jerusalem - Prime Minister Residence
Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and the Transformation of Divine Simplicity

In God We Trust

When listening to Benjamin Netanyahu, most Americans wouldn’t realize that a foreigner is speaking. When listening to Benjamin Netanyahu, most Israelis wouldn’t realize that an Israeli is speaking. He was born in 1949 in Tel Aviv, but between 1956 and 1958, and again in 1963–67, he lived with his family in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from high school; he speaks American English with a distinctive Philadelphian accent. In 1967, he returned to Israel for his service in the IDF and afterwards returned to the US in 1972. Except for a short visit during the 1973 War, he stayed in the USA, studying at various institutions until 1978. He changed his name to Benjamin Ben Nitai in order to make it easier for Americans to pronounce his name. He got American citizenship. Back in Israel, he entered the Foreign Affairs Ministry and returned to the USA between 1984 and 1988 as the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations.

By then, he spoke Hebrew like an American. He was unable to exploit the richness of Hebrew verbs; his sentences sounded like English translations. He dressed like a Republican politician and spoke like one of them, his hairdressing was foreign. Netanyahu became a Mitt Romney clone.

Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's...

Netanyahu has three houses, one of them is the prime minister official residence; its entrance is shown in the picture above. Located on Balfour Street, between the neighborhoods of Rehavia and Talbieh in Jerusalem, the Aghion House was built in Bauhaus style by Jewish-German architect Richard Kaufmann between 1936 and 1939 for a wealthy Greek-Jewish merchant named Edward Aghion. At the beginning of World War II it was occupied by King Peter II of Yugoslavia. Later on, during the 1948 War, the Irgun used it as an improvised hospital. In 1952, the State of Israel purchased the house to serve as the official residence of the Foreign Minister. When Yitzhak Rabin became prime minister in 1974, it became the formal residence of the Israeli premier. Netanyahu is not to be blamed for its opulence.

Netanyahu's second house is nearby, in the Rehavia neighborhood. Benjamin Netanyahu was born in Tel Aviv, but he spent most of his first years in Jerusalem. This is an upscale neighborhood to the extent that when Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie was exiled from Ethiopia in 1936, he lived on Alharizi Street for a while. Yet, this was not good enough for our Benjamin.

Netanyahu Home Caesarea

Netanyahu Home Caesarea | on Hadar Street

Despite all the years since they studied together, Netanyahu still is a good friend of Mitt Romney. Despite all the years since he returned to Israel, Netanyahu lives in a cultural island. His main residence is in Caesarea, halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa, on the Mediterranean coastline; the picture opening this article shows an air view of the Roman ruins in the place. The ruins belong to Caesarea Maritima, built by Herod the Great between 25–13 BC as a port city; it was named after the Roman Caesar. Modern "Keisarya" (in Hebrew) is an unusual settlement in the Holy Land. With less than 5,000 denizens, it is the only Israeli locality managed by a private organization, the Caesarea Development Corporation. A bit of America in the Holy Land. This is possible due to the wealth of its inhabitants. Former President Ezer Weizman had a palace there; Belz Rebbe occupies it nowadays. The list of Israeli VIP's owning residences in the place is impressive, but it also attracts international clients. On February 2012, Yedioth Aharonot and Globes (two Israeli newspapers), reported that Valery Kogan, a Russian billionaire who owns Moscow's Domodedovo Airport, bought a $100 million residence on Hadar Street, just down street from Netanyahu's house. Caesarea is a good place for Netanyahu not only because of the sumptuous golf course in it; many of his neighbors are American-Jews.

This is strange. How could the son of a university professor, who spent his life in the army, studying, and in the State service buy a house in Caesarea? A house so sumptuous and large that in September 2010 it was used for a meeting between Netanyahu and former UK's Prime Minister Blair (just think of the security needs). In September 2012, Forbes Israel ranked Benjamin Netanyahu as the sixth richest Israeli politician. His house in Jerusalem was valued at $2 million, and the one in Caesarea at almost $5 million. His personal fortune crosses the $10 million mark. He couldn't have accumulated that even if he saved his army and government salaries. On various occasions he said he achieved that through lectures and business interests. When a politician speeks of business interests, one must become suspicious. Isn't his main interest to serve the people?

"Of course a politician cares about the people! But please, how do you define 'people?'" That would have been the answer of a Jewish scholar to the previous paragraph. "People" does not mean "voters" in this context, but "contributors." Over the years, Netanyahu has disclosed his connections with two Jewish-American billionaires. Sheldon Adelson generously supported both friends—Netanyahu and Romney—in their respective campaigns (see Romney’s Key in Israeli Attack on Iran). In the past, Ronald Lauder, Chairman Emeritus of Estee Lauder, was also closely related to Netanyahu, though their relations have since cooled down. It is safe to assume that Netanyahu's claims of secret business interests are related to these American gentlemen. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, American, denizen of Caesarea. His people set themselves on fire because they could not pay the rent.

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