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Obama ‘meddling’ in vote, accuse Israeli PM, MPs
January 17, 2013
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TEL AVIV: Only the people of Israel can decide who will represent their best interests, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday in remarks directed at Obama a week before a general election.

“I think everyone knows that the citizens of Israel are the only ones who can decide who will faithfully represent the vital interests of the state,” he said.

His remarks came in response to an article by prominent Bloomberg columnist Jeffrey Goldberg in which he quoted Obama as saying repeatedly: “Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.”

Also on Wednesday Israeli MPs accused US President Barack Obama of meddling in Israel’s upcoming elections over an opinion piece purporting to outline his view of Benjamin Netanyahu’s “self-defeating” policies. The piece made headlines across the Israeli press and sparked angry reactions from MPs from the Israeli prime minister’s ruling rightwing Likud party.

In the article, Goldberg said Obama appeared to see Netanyahu as a “political coward” vis-a-vis the peace process with the Palestinians who was completely “captive to the settler lobby,” and whose ongoing settlement activity was moving Israel “down a path toward near total isolation.”

“This is gross interference by the US president in the elections in Israel,” senior Likud officials told Israel HaYom, an openly pro-Netanyahu daily. Others told The Jerusalem Post the US leader was “taking revenge” on Netanyahu for his overt support for Obama’s rival during the presidential race in November.

Agence France-Presse

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