Netanyahu denies Israeli government prefers Trump over Clinton
“The Prime Minister expressed no preference whatsoever in this presidential race,” Netanyahu’s spokesman said. “He has scrupulously avoided being dragged into American politics.”
Jerusalem unequivocally denied on Thursday that Israel’s leadership expressed a preference for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the US presidential race, following a Washington Post story quoting former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani as saying that was the case.
“The Prime Minister expressed no preference whatsoever in this presidential race,” Netanyahu’s spokesman David Keyes said.
“He has scrupulously avoided being dragged into American politics, and looks forward to working with whomever the American people decide to elect.”
The Washington Post on Wednesday quoted Giuliani, who was in Israel in the Spring and met with Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders, as saying, “I’ve talked to the members of the Israeli government at the highest levels. I know who they want elected here. It’s not Hillary Clinton. It’s not Obama 3.”
Giuliani was further quoted as saying that the Israeli leadership is “politically aware enough to know that if Hillary gets elected, she is going to go further to her left, to protect her left flank against Elizabeth Warren. They know she’s going to start the twostate solution thing again, cave in to the Palestinians.
They realize Donald Trump can say Islamic terrorism, can stand up to it. So there’s no question he would be better for the state of Israel than Hillary.”
Netanyahu hosted then-Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney for dinner in the summer of 2012 in Jerusalem, leaving many with the impression that he favored Romney over US President Barack Obama in that year’s race. In the summer of 2008, when Obama was the Democratic presidential candidate, he also came to Israel and had dinner with then prime minister Ehud Olmert.
Few read that meeting, however, as an indication that Olmert preferred Obama over his rival at the time, John McCain.
Trump was asked at his Florida press conference on Wednesday whether he intended to visit Israel.
“Well, it’s a tradition,” Trump said of presidential candidates visiting Israel before the elections, “but I don’t do things that are traditional.
But I have great support from Israel. I will back Israel 100 percent. I would like to go there. But I have great relationships as you know, to the
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