Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was scheduled to fly to Thessaloniki, Greece, on Wednesday afternoon for the third G2G meeting with Greece and for the third trilateral summit between the leaders of Israel, Greece and Cyprus.
“This year the summit will focus on innovation, and it always deals with energy, security and strategic cooperation, economic matters and tourism. This year the summit will be in Thessaloniki, and there is a reason for this. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and I, together with a representative of the German government, will unveil a plaque to mark the start of construction of a [Holocaust] museum dedicated to the memory of the Jews of Greece and Thessaloniki. The German government has made a considerable contribution to this project,” Netanyahu said before his departure.
“I asked Moshe Ha-Elion, one of this year’s Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day torchlighters, who was born in Thessaloniki, to join us. He was very moved, and so was I. He simply felt unwell, and therefore I asked his daughter Rachel and his son Eliyahu to join us and represent him. My wife and I send him our best wishes for a complete recovery; he is a dear Jew. I am certain that the dedication event in Thessaloniki will warm his heart.”
Netanyahu will also meet with Tsipras, and with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.
Ministers Yuval Steinitz, Ofir Akunis and Eli Cohen are accompanying him to the G2G meeting and the signing of agreements.
While Netanyahu is out of the country, Minister of Culture and Sports Miri Regev (Likud) will serve as acting prime minister.
When he called Regev to ask her to fill in for him, the firebrand Likud MK reportedly quipped, “I’ll let you know if I happen to start a coup.”
Regev will be the first woman since Gold Meir to occupy the prime minister’s office, though in this case it is only temporary. Unless, of course, there is a coup.