Israeli officials usually say they don’t get involved in the internal politics of other countries.
But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an exception for a friend this week, making a video endorsing Meyer Habib for reelection in the French National Assembly in June.
Habib, a dual French-Israeli citizen, was elected to the assembly in 2013, representing French citizens in Israel, Greece, Italy and other Mediterranean countries. Israel has nearly 80,000 registered French voters, more than all the other seven countries in Habib’s constituency combined – though more than 200,000 French citizens live in Israel. Habib, a member of the center-right Union of Democrats and Independents, has also been a personal friend of Netanyahu for many years.
On Wednesday evening, Habib posted a video on his Facebook wall, in which Netanyahu praises him in French and Hebrew.
“[Habib] loves France and is loyal to France but he loves French-Israeli relations very, very much,” Netanyahu said.
“He constantly speaks to me about it, how to strengthen the connection that is so important, not just to Israel, but also for France.”
The prime minister also said Habib was responsible for French-Israeli cooperation in fighting terrorism.
“He initiated in the parliament an action through which Israel’s experience in fighting terrorism was used for the good of France and its citizens,” Netanyahu stated.
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