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Netanyahu Was 'Petty and Ugly' Towards Rivlin

Former Opposition head Yechimovich slams Netanyahu's conduct towards Rivlin in elections, says it 'bordered on disgrace.'
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 6/10/2014, 8:57 PM

Reuven Rivlin and Binyamin Netanyahu
Reuven Rivlin and Binyamin Netanyahu
Flash 90

Former Labor Chairperson and Opposition head MK Shelly Yechimovich had harsh words for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, slamming him for his attempts to block MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud) from becoming president.

Yechimovich told Channel 10 that Netanyahu's conduct towards Rivlin during the elections, which ended in Rivlin's victory on Tuesday, "bordered on disgrace."

"Even after the victory, Netanyahu wasn't magnanimous for a single second, but instead showed a political, petty and ugly settling of accounts. I'm convinced that he didn't vote for Rivlin," said Yechimovich.

Netanyahu reportedly opposed Rivlin aggressively; Likud MKs were quoted Tuesday morning saying Netanyahu's inner circle had been pressuring them to vote for MK Meir Sheetrit (Hatnua), who lost out 53-63, instead of Rivlin, despite his being a member of their Likud party.

One of the MKs reportedly said that Netanyahu's confidants have been conducting numerous phone calls with various MKs, imploring them to vote for the rival party's candidate.

Another sign of Netanyahu's fervent opposition was seen two weeks ago, when reports surfaced that Netanyahu had tried to convince Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel to compete in the presidential elections.

Wiesel, who lives in New York and does not hold Israeli citizenship, said Netanyahu had called him three times and then tried to pressure him through mutual friends to run, but that he refused.

Netanyahu previously also considered legislation to postpone the vote or cancel the presidential institution, in what has been seen as a systematic effort to block Rivlin, a member of his own party, over personal disagreements between the two.