In the 50s, 60s, and 70s, when the U.S. government wanted to influence outcomes in foreign democracies, the CIA would pump money into the coffers of their favored parties and dispatch experts to try to steer their campaigns. In Italy, for example, the CIA generously funded the Christian Democrats as they battled the Communist Party which was routinely winning more than a quarter of the vote.
Now, in a reprise of these Cold War tactics, President Obama is venting his personal rage at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by giving U.S. government grants to an NGO called The OneVoice Movement that, in turn helps to fund and advise the V15 (Victory, 2015) Party in Israel in its efforts to defeat Bibi in the coming Israeli elections. OneVoice got two State Department grants this past year. One of the grants that ended in November, 2014 — three months ago — was for $233,500 nominally to drum up support for Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace initiatives.
The other grant was to OneVoice’s branch in Ramallah on the West Bank to “inspire civic participation through grassroots activism.” It also ended three months ago.
The money is being used to promote voter registration of “moderates” who are likely to vote against Netanyahu and for polling “to assess…what moderate voters think and feel to make sure their voices are heard in the next election campaign.”
OneVoice’s activities also include co-ordination with “270 Strategies, a consulting firm founded and staffed by Obama campaign veterans,” according to the Washington Examiner. Ha’aretz reports that Jeremy Bird, former national field director for the Obama campaign is in Israel working with the anti-Netanyahu forces.
270 Strategies, by the way, is doing consulting work on grass roots organizing for “Ready for Hillary” and has been paid almost $300,000 to pave the way for her coronation as the Democratic nominee in 2016.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY) have called on the State Department Inspector General to express their “strong concerns over the recent media reports that a U.S. taxpayer funded 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called OneVoice is actively working with a campaign operation called V15 or ‘Victory 2015’ in an effort to influence the outcome of the elections in Israel on March 17, 2015.”
It is outrageous enough that the U.S. government is using taxpayer funding to try to topple the government of one of our closest allies. But it is more so that President Obama is allowing — or encouraging? — his top political aides to go to Israel to defeat Netanyahu.
Is Obama’s personal pique over Netanyahu’s independent course — and his acceptance of Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to address the Congress — such that he is recklessly trying to meddle in a foreign election?
Are we seeing, in Obama, the actualization of the ancient Greek proverb: “Those who the Gods would destroy, they first make mad with power.”
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