Steinitz: Olmert Damaging Israel When He Accuses Netanyahu

Politicians like Ehud Olmert who are spreading rumors saying that PM Netanyahu preferred Romney as president are damaging Israel

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David Lev,

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Now that President Barack H. Obama has won reelection, political enemies of Binyamin Netanyahu are trying to make hay of the Prime Minister's alleged preference for Mitt Romney to win. But Netanyahu did no such thing, said Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz Thursday, and politicians like Ehud Olmert who are spreading rumors saying that Netanyahu did so are damaging Israel.

On Wednesday, Olmert accused Netanyahu of “aggressively intervening” in the American elections, on the orders of American multimillionaire Sheldon Adelson, a supporter of both Netanyahu and Romney, who funneled millions of dollars to the latter's Presidental campaign. “It would be considered an unprecedented violation of the rules governing behavior between nations, much less our relations with an important ally like the U.S.,” Olmert told Jewish community heads at a meeting in New York.

In an interview with Israel Radio Thursday, Steinitz slammed the “unfounded attempts” by Olmert to attempt to label Netanyahu as a Romney supporter. Such efforts, he said, would end up harming the relationship between Jerusalem and Israel. Although Netanyahu met with Romney during the presidential campaign, he wasn't the only world leader to do so, Steinitz said, adding that the two were old friends.

The recent reauthorization of government and military assistance by the U.S., said Steinitz, proves that the Israel-U.S. relationship was strong, and crossed party lines.