U.S. Denies Interference in Elections

YERUSHALAYIM -

Several days after a huge campaign poster showing Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump shaking hands appeared over main intersections, a U.S. official has denied accusations of interference in local elections.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Yerushalayim denied the accusations, while acknowledging the prime minister’s special relationship with the president, who enjoys considerable popularity in Israel.

“It’s no secret that POTUS and PM Netanyahu have a strong relationship based upon mutual respect and that they reflect the mutual admiration and affection of the American and Israeli people,” the spokesperson told The Times of Israel on Tuesday.

But the spokesperson was careful to add: “The Administration is not endorsing any candidate.”

Meanwhile, Netanyahu and his wife Sara voted in the Likud primaries on Tuesday at a specially built private polling station in their official residence in the capital.

The innovation was introduced in order “not to disturb polling stations” with the extensive security precautions that normally attend the prime minister’s public appearances, the spokesperson explained.

Speaking before casting his ballot, Netanyahu told Likud members he has one request: “Vote, vote, and vote for my proposal to strengthen the Likud in the face of the left-wing mergers.”