Jerusalem: With opposition gaining momentum ahead of this week's general election, Israel's hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused "foreign governments" and tycoons of pumping in millions of dollars to dislodge him.
Embarking on a blitz of media interviews and launching a major offensive against his rivals, Netanyahu has been trying to convince the right-wing voters to support him enmasse in order to keep the centre-left combination led by Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog out of power.
"There is a huge international effort, with major money, that is partnering up with leftist organisations here and also with media figures in order to bring down the Likud government that I head," the Israeli Premier told Channel 2 yesterday and repeated the allegations again today in interviews to local media.
With pinion polls showing that he is trailing and the opposition has gained momentum, Netanyahu said that the forces he saw arrayed against him "know one thing -- that when Bougie (Herzog) and Tzipi come in here, they won't stand firm even for a minute. They will fold on every position right away."
"Whether legal or not, it certainly is not legitimate for foreign governments and all kinds of donors to meddle here," he said.
The 65-year-old Israeli Prime Minister, however, did not not specify which forces were planning his ouster but in remarks this week he has spoken of unspecified European governments encouraging his defeat.
Another senior minister in the Israeli cabinet from Netanyahu's Likud party, Yuval Steinitz, said there was American involvement too, Ynet reported.
The Israeli Premier has been constantly at loggerheads with US President Barack Obama and his recent efforts to undermine the US leader by addressing the Congress without coordinating with the White House has further widened the rift between the two.
Netanyahu himself was seen to be trying to influence the US Presidential elections last time through various statements which were interpreted as going against Obama.