My Benjamin Netanyahu Story April 2, 2009
Posted by judylobo in Jewish Stuff, Links, Photography, Politics, Religion, Videos, Zoos.
Tags: Benjamin Netanyahu, Central Park Zoo, tarantulas
My friends are now rolling their eyes and saying ‘Nooooo – not the Benjamin Netanyahu story AGAIN!’ But since he is back in the news as the Prime Minister of Israel some stories just need to resurface. So here goes -
Time: March 2001
Place: The Central Park Zoo
Background: As a long time volunteer Zoo Guide in the education department at the Central Park Zoo I was asked ‘if I minded’ giving a tour to the recently ousted Prime Minister of Israel and his young family. Did I mind? Did I mind? (We Jews like to repeat ourselves). Heck, no. I was thrilled.
Story: So after the formal introductions, Bibi, his wife, their two young sons, two undercover Israeli agents, two under cover NYPD officers and the head of security at the Central Park Zoo and I took off for an informal tour of the Zoo. The boys were excited, the Netanyahu parents seemed relaxed and the under cover officers were tense. I was trying to look cool, calm and collected. The only Hebrew I could recall was ‘shalom’ and how often can you say that on a zoo tour?
Meat of the story: As we toured the upstairs close-up gallery in the tropical rain forest we stopped at the tarantula exhibit. I spoke for a very short while about tarantulas. The boys and Bibi were fascinated by the creepy crawly critters.
I say to Bibi – “Do you have tarantulas in Israel?”
Without skipping a beat, looking straight into my eyes, Bibi replied – ‘”Only in politics”.
Oh yes, he was good. Very good. I just wish he were not such a hawk. Oh well. That is my Benjamin Netanyahu story. The above photo was taken of us by the head of Zoo Security. I told Tom at the time that if the photo did not come out – I would have to kill him.
I also have stories about my meeting Keith Olbermann at the Zoo and others. But that is for another day.
Read more about the present situation and the possiblility of Israel’s grab for peace. ‘Benjamin Netanyahu was the perfect candidate for a comeback in Israel’s worried political landscape. Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran’s nuclear designs and Israel’s economic ills contributed to a mood of pessimism that provided grist Netanyahu needed to double his right-wing Likud’s parliamentary representation in a February election. Netanyahu, returning as prime minister a decade after he was voted out of the post, may still go by his childhood nickname, Bibi, but the U.S.-raised MIT graduate has never been accused of taking anything but a sombre view of Israel’s world.A former military commando, Netanyahu is a self-styled terrorism expert, writing books and forming a think-tank after his elder brother Yoni was killed leading the raid to release Israeli hostages held at Entebbe airport in Uganda in 1976. He and his third wife, Sara, have two teenage sons. He has a daughter from a previous marriage’.
- Benjamin Netanyahu begins his official term as Israel’s Prime Minister after an official changeover ceremony in Jerusalem.