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      Obama's Interference Ineffective, Says Ex-Envoy

      Ambassador Meir Rosenne: Israeli citizens don't like it when other countries tell them whom to elect.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 1/16/2013, 11:32 PM

      Barack Obama
      Barack Obama
      AFP photo

      Israel's former ambassador in the United States and France, Dr. Meir Rosenne, thinks President Barack Obama's attempt to influence Israeli elections will not have an effect on Israeli voters.

      Dr. Rosenne told Arutz Sheva that the tense relationship between Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu is mostly an outward appearance. "The United States needs Israel; we are its ally in the Middle East," he explained. "And we must say that despite the supposedly tense relations between the two countries lately, as far as security is concerned, the cooperation is stronger than ever."

      Rosenne noted that the bill currently before Congress, which would make it possible for Israeli to enter the U.S. without a tourist visa, is another indication of U.S. support for Israel.

      Only the people of Israel can decide who will represent their best interests, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday in remarks directed at President Barack Obama a week prior to the 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 repeatedly saying that, "Israel doesn't know what its own best interests are.