Netanyahu uses image of Trump in re-election campaign ads

By Clyde Hughes
Netanyahu uses image of Trump in re-election campaign ads
An Ultra-Orthodox Jew walks past a campaign billboard Monday showing U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shaking hands, at the entrance to Jerusalem. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is using an image of he and President Donald Trump in his bid for re-election, with large billboards in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The billboard in Tel Aviv is located along a highway where thousands of motorists pass daily. The ad in Jerusalem is on a building at the city's entrance.


The photo shows Netanyahu and Trump shaking hands under the headline, "Netanyahu, in a different league." The ad plays on a close relationship between the two leaders.

Last year, Trump followed through on promises to move the Israeli U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel's capital.

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Trump also pulled out of the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal last year, which was an agreement Netanyahu opposed.

"Netanyahu wants to show Israelis that no Israeli can handle the U.S.-Israel relationship better than himself," Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, told Newsweek after the two leaders met in Washington, D.C., last year.


"Trump wants to show his base that he continues to enjoy Netanyahu's approval which is important because the Israeli Prime Minister is revered in the American political right."

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Netanyahu has consistently praised Trump since he took office, partly because if the U.S. leader's support for Israel and opposition to Iran. After a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in 2017, Netanyahu said it was one of the greatest talks he's ever heard.

"In over 30 years in my experience with the U.N., I never heard a bolder or more courageous speech," he tweeted afterward.

Trump has repeatedly cited Israel's use of a wall in the West Bank as reason to build one along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"Everybody knows that a Wall will work perfectly," Trump wrote in December. "In Israel the Wall works 99.9%."

"President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel's southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration," he tweeted a few days after Trump's inauguration in January 2017. "Great success. Great idea."

In November, Netanyahu applauded Trump for pledging new sanctions against Iran.

"Thank you, President Trump, for your historic decision," he wrote.

While polls show that Netanyahu, who leads Israel's ruling Likud Party, is a solid favorite to win re-election in April, they also show the opposition Israel Resilience Party gaining ground, behind former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Benny Gantz.


Netanyahu also is under investigation by Israel's Justice Ministry and three former close aides -- Ari Harow, Shlomo Filber and Nir Hefetz -- have alleged fraud, bribery and breach of trust against the prime minister.

The election is set for April 9.

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