While Washington’s politicians never tire in their constant search for 'foreign meddling', the Twitter crowd has pointed out that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has admitted to trying to influence US politics.
On Wednesday, Netanyahu's office quoted the PM as saying that “in recent years, we have promoted laws in most US states, which determine that strong action is to be taken against whoever tries to boycott Israel.” This came shortly after the UN Human Rights Council released a database of more than 100 companies “involved in certain activities relating to settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” infuriating Israeli officials.
Netanyahu did not clarify what kind of 'promotion' he was referring to. However, in the past he has praised American politicians for taking steps against the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign for Palestinian rights, which he called “anti-Semitic” and a threat to Israel.
A total of 28 US states adopted various laws penalizing companies and individuals for supporting BDS and engaging in boycotts of Tel Aviv over the way it treats the Palestinians. On top of that, last year the US House of Representatives passed a resolution repudiating the campaign.
Eager to bash BDS, the Israeli PM may not have been too careful about his choice of words. His comments raised eyebrows on social media and were quickly labelled as blatant meddling in US domestic affairs – something Washington usually does not tolerate when it comes from other nations.
“Imagine ANY other country doing this. Bragging about their influence over our government to get laws passed that limit American freedoms,” one person wrote. Another wondered how Washington would have reacted “if China tweeted that they were influencing legislation in most US states.”