Netanyahu's Ice Cream Budget Axed After Opponents Hype Israeli Leader's State-Funded Account

02/16/2013 10:23 am ET

If Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were ice cream, he'd undoubtedly be rocky road.

Not only does the flavor speak volumes about the tumultuous Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but it also captures Netanyahu's latest struggle: his losing battle to keep a state-funded budget for luxury ice-cream at his official residence.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the contract of 10,000 Israeli Shekels (about $2,700), has typically been awarded in years past to Metudela, a craft ice-cream shop the Jerusalem Post calls "adorable."

From Haaretz:

The Prime Minister’s Bureau stressed that the deal was nothing more than "a master contract meant to accommodate guests at the prime minister's official residence, and did not necessarily mean the entire sum would be spent."

Netanyahu reportedly prefers vanilla and pistachio.

His political opponents, meanwhile, have eagerly taken the story as an opportunity to paint the leader as out-of-touch. (They also have taken to Photoshopping the leader and ice cream into humorous situations.)

As the Guardian points out, Shelley Yacimovich, head of the anti-Netanyahu Labor Party, remarked on Facebook, "If there's no bread, let them eat ice cream. Should we laugh or cry? Was that what he meant when he said there are no 'free meals'?"

The outlet also notes that news of the ice-cream funds has gained attention as Netanyahu seeks to wrangle lawmakers into passing an austerity-minded budget. According to Reuters, failure to pass the budget by early March will trigger a new election.

No matter what happens, let's all hope cooler heads prevail.

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