Over the years, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been famous among employees of the US President’s guesthouse for always bringing special bags on his trips to Washington full of dirty clothes, according to Washington Post writer John Hudson.
Hudson explained that cleaning clothes for the Prime Minister is free of charge by American employees, a benefit available to all foreign leaders, but they rarely benefit from it due to the short period of their stay in Washington, with the exception of the Netanyahu family.
Israeli officials denied that Netanyahu overused the laundry services of his American hosts, describing the allegations as “ridiculous”, but acknowledged that he was the target of laundry-related charges in the past.
In 2016, Netanyahu filed a lawsuit against his office and the Israeli attorney general in an attempt to prevent the release of his laundry bills under the country’s Freedom of Information Act, and the judge sided with Netanyahu, and details of the laundry bills remain classified pending appeal to the Supreme Court.
This relatively minor accusation joins a longer list of corruption allegations that threatened the 70-year-old prime minister’s takeover of power, and sparked protests in Israel this month.
The Israeli Embassy in Washington issued a statement saying that the “laundry accusation” was an attempt to cover up the success of the normalization agreement that Israel, Bahrain and the UAE signed at the White House last week.
“These baseless and absurd allegations aim to downplay the monumental achievement of Prime Minister Netanyahu at the historic peace summit that was held by President (Donald) Trump at the White House,” the embassy said in a statement.
The embassy added that Netanyahu’s laundry needs were relatively modest during his recent trip. On this visit – for example, according to the embassy – there was no dry cleaning, and only two shirts were washed for the public meeting, and the prime minister’s suit and Mrs. Netanyahu’s dress were also ironed for the public meeting, and a pair of “pajamas” that Netanyahu wore during the trip, which lasted 12 hours from Israel to Washington.
Another US official said that, unlike several cases in the past, Netanyahu’s recent visit did not include several bags full of dirty clothes.