Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not be among the 50+ (so far) heads of state to attend Nelson Mandela's funeral.

The reason he gave was a laugher: He cited the $2 million+ cost to provide transportation and security for an Israeli delegation. He was thinking about the Israeli taxpayer.

But not so much (it was revealed in the Israeli press) when he spent $1 million last year to maintain and upgrade his three residences. The state-paid expenses, it was reported, included $1,700 for scented candles and $23,000 to fill a swimming pool at his villa in the north of the country. (Was it filled with Evian?)

More likely, this is how Netanyahu is settling the score for Mandela's pro-Palestinian sympathies. That's why Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas is attending.

Palestinians will attend, Israelis will not.

That's a public relations black eye for Israel and proof that Netanyahu does not embrace Mandela's philosophy of embracing those who disagree with you. Netanyahu is not the statesman Mandela was.

LATE NEWS: Five members of the Israeli Knesset are planning to attend (irrespective of cost, apparently). In my view, Netanyahu should be there, too.