Israeli press criticizes Netanyahu for “putting all his money” on the Republican candidate.
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney gave two interviews to the Hebrew press prior to his visit to Israel: One to Haaretz, a low circulation paper read by the country’s liberal elite, and the other to Yisrael Hayom,the most widely read Israeli daily, owned by gambling billionaire and known Obama opponent Sheldon Adelson. Yisrael Hayom, which is distributed for free at considerable loss, is known for its unabashed support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Adelson is also one of the Romney campaign’s biggest donors.
In his Haaretz interview Romney was very careful when mentioning President Obama, making it known several times that he would follow the practice of not criticizing the administration while traveling abroad. However, his interview to Sheldon’s tabloid was quite different:
I would treat Israel like the friend and ally it is. We share not only common interests, but also common values.
I cannot imagine going to the United Nations, as Obama did, and criticizing Israel in front of the world,” he said. “You don’t criticize your allies in public to achieve the applause of your foes.”
The Israeli press this weekend covered Prime Minister Netanyahu’s attempt to arrange a successful visit for his friend, without making his political preferences too obvious. On Ynet, Israel’s most popular Hebrew news site, diplomatic correspondent Atila Somfalvi writes this morning that “Netanyahu is putting all his money on Romney.”
Netanyahu ignores the criticism about his over-involvement in American politics… he is betting, and he is not even ashamed of it. He is placing all his money on one candidate, cherishes him and helps his campaign.
Haaret’z diplomatic correspondent, Barak Ravid, reports on Netanyahu’s efforts to help the Romney campaign to solve the mistake made in scheduling a fundraiser during the Jewish fast day of Tisha b’Av. Romney will hold his fundraiser tomorrow instead. The event will be closed to the media, so we won’t get to see who comes to support the Republican nominee, and whether they are from the Israeli far right and the settler movement.