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Israel PM 'wanted Elie Wiesel as president'

Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel attends a film screening at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, on April 29, 2012Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had tried to convince Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel to be a candidate in the race for president, media said on Friday. Israeli media began reporting Netanyahu’s last-minute attempt on Tuesday, when candidates had to present 10 MPs’ signatures to be eligible for the position. Wiesel, who lives in New York, told top-selling daily Yediot Aharonot on Friday that Netanyahu had called him three times and then tried to pressure him through mutual friends, but the 86-year-old Romanian-born Nobel Peace Prize winner refused. Netanyahu’s efforts to draw the Jewish-American writer and political activist who does not hold Israeli citizenship into the presidency race were reportedly part of his attempts to prevent the election of Reuven Rivlin of his own Likud party as president.

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