Israel is a country well-known both for its informality and for a national trait known as dugri — giving it to you straight. It’s only fitting, therefore, that the Knesset, our seat of government, should present an exhibition of photographs called Prime Ministers in Slippers that is just what it says it is.

The exhibition features photographs culled from the National Photo Collection of Israel’s 13 prime ministers in moments of repose, relaxation and even exercise, as captured by photographers from the Government Press Office (GPO).

David Ben-Gurion in his library…

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Golda Meir at her garden gate…

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Menachem Begin in actual bedroom slippers…

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Yitzhak Shamir catching a Maccabi basketball game…

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Shimon Peres enjoying a morning coffee and newspaper at a sidewalk cafe…

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Ariel Sharon at his beloved Sycamore Ranch

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Ehud Olmert out on a morning run…

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Prime Ministers in Slippers was initiated jointly by Knesset Speaker Yuli (Yoel) Edelstein and the GPO which marks its 80th anniversary this year. The curators were GPO photographer Avi Ohayon and Knesset curator Sharon Sofer.

The full exhibit of intimate, behind-the-scenes portraits can be seen online at the Knesset website.