Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday vowed to accept subsequent week’s election outcomes, even when he loses.
“Of course I’ll accept the results. What can I do, cry?” he advised Army Radio, forward of the nation’s fourth nationwide vote in two years on Tuesday.
His remark got here a day after Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman claimed with out proof that Netanyahu was planning a riot related to the January 6 rebellion on the US Capitol carried out by supporters of former president Donald Trump who refused to accept his election loss.
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Liberman, a bitter opponent of Netanyahu, didn’t present any proof for the allegation, which was made in an interview with Channel 12. The accusation got here after Likud supporters twice attacked activists from rival events in latest weeks.
Netanyahu within the Thursday interview was additionally requested for his ideas on US President Joe Biden calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “killer” earlier this week, organising a struggle between Washington and Moscow.
“Both of them are my personal friends. These relations are important. I don’t interfere in this matter,” mentioned Netanyahu.
“[Israel] works every few days to prevent Iranian entrenchment in Syria, and our freedom of action there is preserved in part because of our relations with Russia,” he added, hinting at why he wasn’t at liberty to take as robust a stance on Putin as Biden has.
The upcoming elections — the fourth in two years — have been referred to as after the power-sharing authorities of Likud and Blue and White failed to agree on a finances by a December 23 deadline. The election, just like the earlier three votes, is essentially seen as a referendum on Netanyahu’s rule amid his ongoing trial on corruption fees, in addition to his authorities’s dealing with of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though Likud is predicted to achieve essentially the most seats, surveys have usually predicted political impasse after the election, with no occasion having a transparent path to assembling a majority coalition.
The prime minister was additionally pressed on his corruption trial, which is ongoing. Netanyahu denies the fees of bribery, fraud and breach of belief within the instances.
The premier was dismissive when requested whether or not he was involved he might face imprisonment within the instances, insisting that the allegations are “crumbling” and can proceed to “crumble.”
Asked whether or not the judges listening to his case can be trusted to rule pretty, Netanyahu responded, “I really hope so.”
The Army Radio interviewer additionally raised final week’s canceled journey to the United Arab Emirates. Netanyahu mentioned it wasn’t scuttled due to the UAE, however somewhat due to a “malfunction” — an obvious reference to a dispute with Jordan over utilizing its airspace to fly to Abu Dhabi. Israel has blamed Amman for the cancellation of final week’s journey.
The journey to the UAE been deliberate for a number of months however postponed on quite a few events, most not too long ago in February. Netanyahu had initially been set to make the journey in November, then December, after which in January and February, however the pandemic, scheduling points, and inner political crises led to repeated delays.
The UAE was reportedly reluctant to agree to host him final week, due to issues that this is able to be perceived as election interference, and Netanyahu was mentioned to have deployed Mossad intelligence company chief Yossi Cohen to persuade them.
Pressed as to whether or not the Mossad chief ought to have been concerned in what appeared to be a political, election-related matter, Netanyahu mentioned, “I will not say where I am sending Yossi Cohen, but these are more important tasks.”
The premier has additionally been accused of barring Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi from flying to the UAE earlier than he does.
“Gabi Ashkenazi will probably visit the Emirates, or his successor will get there. Don’t worry,” Netanyahu mentioned.
The prime minister has sought to burnish his credentials as Israel’s main statesman as a part of his reelection pitch forward of March 23 polls, and a UAE go to might have aided that effort.
But an Emirati official mentioned in pointed feedback on Wednesday that the United Arab Emirates wouldn’t become involved in Israeli electioneering. “From the UAE’s perspective, the purpose of the Abrahamic Accords is to provide a robust strategic foundation to foster peace and prosperity with the State of Israel and in the wider region,” tweeted Anwar Gargash, adviser to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed.
Agencies contributed to this report.