Netanyahu interfering in US election, Israel’s opposition leader says
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Netanyahu interfering in US election, Israel’s opposition leader says

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog speaking to foreign press in Jerusalem, Feb. 24, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Isaac Herzog, shown in a February 2015 photo, claims actions by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s allies in the U.S. election are “dangerous and destructive.” (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s opposition leader Isaac Herzog accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or his associates of interfering in the U.S. election.

“In the past, we saw serious information stating that Israeli leaders tried to intervene and influence the results of the elections [in the United States], and the citizens of Israel paid the high price,” Herzog said. “Recently, we saw again information on Israeli leaders’ intervention in elections through people close to them across the sea.”

Herzog made the comments on Monday at a meeting of the opposition Zionist Union faction.

“I call on Netanyahu to instruct those close to him to make sure no damage is done,” Herzog said without naming anyone he suspects. “His silence about the actions of those allies is dangerous and destructive.”

Prior to Herzog’s comments, also Monday, Netanyahu said during a Likud party faction meeting that the Israel-U.S. relationship will remain strong no matter who wins Tuesday’s election, echoing statements he made Sunday to his Cabinet.

“Whatever the result, the relationship between Israel and the U.S. will remain strong and steadfast,” Netanyahu said.

“These relations are based first of all on shared values of liberty, democracy and progress. When looking at the region around us, we understand how unique these values are.

“I’ll repeat what I said in Congress last year: Israel has no better friend than the U.S. and the U.S. has no better friend than Israel,” Netanyahu concluded.

Israel’s Channel 10 reported Sunday evening that Netanyahu has ordered his Cabinet members not to comment publicly on Tuesday’s election.

Netanyahu met with both candidates when he was in New York in September for the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly.