TEL AVIV – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed cabinet ministers to refrain from talking about the upcoming U.S. presidential election and from giving an opinion as to which candidate they support.
In a written directive, Netanyahu said the issue was “sensitive” and public officials must not be seen as taking sides, Channel 10 reported Sunday.
“Whoever wins this week’s election in the U.S. — I am sure that the strong and stable relations with Israel will not only remain as such, but will be strengthened,” Netanyahu said before the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem.
“The alliance with the U.S. is the most important alliance we have in all of our international relations. That is how it has been, and that is how it will remain.”
Netanyahu added that no matter who wins the election, Israel’s ties with the U.S. would remain “solid.”
During the last election in 2012, Netanyahu was slammed for supporting Mitt Romney and was even accused of attempting to aid in the Republican candidate’s campaign, including having his picture used in Romney TV ads.
In 2015, a State Department-financed nonprofit working in Israel led efforts to defeat Netanyahu during that year’s elections.