JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is usually seen on camera, here and around the world, grimacing and warning the world about Iran's nuclear program or incoming missiles from Lebanon. So he did not seem like a natural fit to host a children’s show. But there he was Thursday night, following the daily central news bulletin on Israel’s most popular station, Channel 2, starring in a one-off episode of the reality show “A Day in the Life of…”
The episode, part of a series of educational programs offering school children the chance to learn about various professions, took five kids ages 10 to 14 and let them spend a somewhat scripted and stage-managed day with the prime minister, his family and his entourage. A video of the episode is above; there's a bit of English around the 14:50 mark.
The program showed Netanyahu in a different light than as the usually stern Israeli leader, which was likely why he let the cameras follow him in the first place.
The children accompanied him on a helicopter flight to visit what will eventually become Israel’s largest army base in the southern desert.
At one point, one of the children asked Netanyahu, "Would you like to do what Barack Obama said he wanted to do, put on a mustache and walk around the streets of Jerusalem?"
“I’ve done that before, but I wouldn’t mind going back to it," he answered, clearly striving to appear normal. "I meet friends but I have to take many security guards with me, though sometimes they let me out of the cage."
As one newspaper review of the show pointed out, a more difficult question might have been, “Where have the child support payments gone?” or “What really happened in the ‘Bibi tours’ affair?” a reference to accusations that some of Netanyahu's trips abroad were illegally funded.
As with all things Bibi-related in Israel, there is likely to be a slew of social media memes and videos poking fun at the TV show -- something Netanyahu's social media office has shown signs of relishing.