Menu JTA Search

Premier’s Flu Sparks Controversy

Some opposing politicians claimed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was faking it after the Israeli premier canceled work for two days this week, saying he was ill.

Netanyahu canceled a meeting with U.S. Middle East envoy Dennis Ross on Thursday as well as deliberations on the 1999 budget and a trip to the Soviet republic of Georgia to celebrate 2,600 years of the Jewish community there.

Netanyahu did meet Thursday with Ross at the premier’s home.

Some Labor Party politicians said Netanyahu was just trying to avoid the political problems at hand.

Netanyahu complained of a general weakness earlier in the week. Following initial concern that he was suffering from a heart attack, Dr. Andre Keren, a cardiologist, was called in. Keren ruled that there was no heart trouble, but that Netanyahu was suffering from the flu.

The Meretz Party’s Yossi Sarid also used the opportunity to get in a potshot at Netanyahu. Sarid said he believed the Likud Party leader was sick, but added: “This is what happens to a person who always lies. No one believes him anymore.”

NEXT STORY