Of all the complaints that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might have about his job - you wouldn't think that boredom would be one of them.
- PM: Iran Will Be Key Challenge for New Gov't
- Netanyahu's Coalition Guidelines Don’t Include Two-state Solution
- Knesset Votes in Favor of Expanding Cabinet
You certainly wouldn’t think the nation’s leader needed any extra distraction when he leaves the sanctuary of the Prime Minister’s office to do battle on the Knesset floor of on a crucial debate and vote that would determine whether or not he could unveil his new government coalition this week.
But, in fact, it appeared during the debates and votes on a bill which would increase the number of cabinet ministers in the government, extended by the opposition parties into the Israeli version of a filibuster, that Netanyahu, seated in his chair in the parliament decided to block it all out and crack open a good book.
True, he was probably relaxed knowing that his proposal to amend a clause in a Basic Law and increase the number of ministers in the cabinet would ultimately pass by a vote of 61-59. That was why he was there in the first place. In order for the amendment to make it through, all 61 Knesset members in the proposed new coalition had to show up and vote in favor - including the Prime Minister himself.
Still, sharp-eyed journalists over the course of the two hour session were surprised to see the nation’s leader engrossed in reading on the Knesset floor. He didn’t appear to be the only Knesset member that needed to be entertained - next to him sat senior Likud MK Yuval Steinitz with earphones.
Ultimately, intrepid political blogger Tal Schneider managed to grab a close-up screenshot of the nation's leader reading and asked her Twitter and Facebook followers if anyone could identify it from the rather fuzzy blown-up image. Social media pranksters who just wanted to have fun offered up guesses ranging from “Fifty Shades of Grey” to Machiavelli's “The Prince.”
But those who actually took her seriously arrived quickly at the consensus was that Netanyahu was boning up on the fine points of diplomacy by reading Henry Kissinger’s book “World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History.” The book was published in September, but presumably Netanyahu’s busy winter of coalition crisis and elections meant that he had to catch up on his reading.
The mystery was solved. However, the question of what Steinitz was listening to - music or a podcast - remains unanswered.