My Benjamin Netanyahu Story March 8, 2012Posted by judylobo in Jewish Stuff, Photography, Politics, Religion, wildlife, Zoos.
Tags: Benjamin Netanyahu, Central Park Zoo, Politics
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 Tom, 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.