Beyond the Cusp

February 2, 2015

Obama’s Deceits Over Israeli Elections

 

President Obama loudly proclaimed why he would not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu explaining how it would be such a horrible and uncouth act to interfere in the Israeli elections by appearing to support the Prime Minister and Netanyahu’s reelection efforts. If only that was even close to being a true statement. There is an entire imbroglio concerning V2015, their campaign to defeat Netanyahu, One Voice and the potential that the United States State Department is funding their efforts to organize a grass roots network to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud Party election efforts in order to place what could euphemistically be called Administration’s pawns in the Prime Minister’s office in Israel all so President Obama will be able to forge a peace which will all but guarantee the end of the State of Israel just to allow the President his legacy. In all fairness we must place this in early in this article and in the campaign in Israel, we also do not support the reelection of Netanyahu to be Prime Minister but we are even more opposed to having the Labor-Hatnua Parties lists placing Yitzhak Hertzog and Tzipi Livni in some form of sharing the Prime Minister position as their efforts appear that they would facilitate another disengagement this time in Judea and Samaria. After witnessing the events which followed the disengagement in Gaza we see such a move as pure folly and potentially bringing forces even more threatening than the Palestinian Authority or Hamas into attempting eradicating Israel’s existence, namely ISIS.

 

For Prime Minister Netanyahu’s and his Likud Party’s this is something they have witnessed before when the President Clinton successfully interfered in the campaign for elections to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, and thereby denied the Likud Party what initially appeared to be their easy elections victory in 1999 and being chosen to form the ruling coalition and the right to name the Prime Minister according to Israeli law. President Clinton provided some additional assistance in the form of Stanley Greenberg along with partners James Carville and Robert Shrum, who helped Labor Party under Ehud Barak defeat Netanyahu in the 1999 elections. Previously, then-President Bill Clinton was reportedly active in creating rifts within Netanyahu’s coalition, hastening its downfall. Additionally, after orchestrating the crisis which forced Prime Minister Netanyahu to call for early elections in 2012, Stanley Greenberg was involved in helping Labor, under Shelly Yachimovich, to defeat Netanyahu once again, this time to no avail. As has been said, that was then, this is now; as it is now the Obama elections team which will be there to try and influence an Israeli election and defeat Netanyahu.

 

The efforts in Israel are being coordinated by an organization called V15 whose organizers informed Haaretz that they rather call their campaign “Anyone but Bibi,” they refer to it as “replace the government” which does not reference any Party or particular person. Perhaps this makes their efforts able to skirt the election laws and thus disguise their electioneering efforts in the Israeli elections. Jeremy Bird who was the Obama campaign’s national field director in 2012 will be heading the V-2015 efforts to run a grassroots, Obama-style campaign out of offices in Tel Aviv. By running the campaign to change the government they hope to enlist thousands of individuals and have them canvas as many homes across Israel as they are able in an attempt to influence people not to vote for the Likud Party in order to prevent the reelection of another Likud coalition which would place Netanyahu back as Prime Minister. Though the campaign claims they are not supporting anybody for election, these efforts will work to directly assist the campaign efforts of the Labor and Hatnua Party’s combined list.

 

Already there is one item which we have found to be something which seriously reeks of an Alinsky-style effort where often where misrepresentation and simple sloganeering are instrumental in the campaign effort. The use by the combined Labor Party with Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua Party choosing to name their partnership for election purposes the “Zionist Camp” despite their positions being anything but Zionist. This is similar in texture and appeal to the use of “Hope and Change” while not defining what is being ‘hoped for’ and what they plan ‘to change.’ Still, on a simple campaign slogan of “Hope and Change” teamed with the chanting of the other half of the campaign trip, “Yes You Can” and the other spin offs such as ‘Yes We Can’ and others, the 2008 election campaign and in a lesser way the 2012 campaign elected and reelected President Obama. I am waiting to hear either Hertzog or Livni calmly, smoothly waving to the gathering of supporters and sauntering, you might even call it strutting, up to the podium, surveying the crowd which awaits their signal, then they preface or finish their speech pumping a fist into the air and repeatedly calling out, “Yes We Can!” “Yes We Can!” “Yes We Can!” until the crowd picks up on the chant and a slogan will have been transplanted to Israel. It is not necessarily the same chant; they might go with something a little less obvious as, “No More Bibi!” or other supposedly organic chant which theoretically spontaneously originated and was not preplanned or anything so diabolical, it just sort of happened.

 

There is a way of communicating exactly what is happening and quoting a pair of people far more erudite and possessing far more gravitas than I who have stepped up and defined things, Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Lee Zeldin. Were this any other pair of nations, it would be beyond the cusp of believable scenarios, but because it is Israel and the history of Democrat campaign specialists from previous Presidential efforts in the United States coming to Israel to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu, anything becomes standard utilization of available and proffered electioneering expertise. This partnership to remove or defeat Netanyahu and by necessity the Likud Party was first launched by then President Bill Clinton with the team of Stanley Greenberg, James Carville and Robert Shrum in 1999 and then simply Stanley Greenberg leading the efforts in 2012, we now have a passing of the baton (Hillary might claim it to be loaning the baton if she decides to run in 2016) to the Obama election machine with Jeremy Bird organizing the efforts, and the combined efforts of V2015, One Voice and others even to the point of using State Department funding to unseat Netanyahu by any methods necessary, Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Lee Zeldin have stepped up and authored a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry demanding an investigation and report on any potential use of State Department funding by any of the entities in this ever deepening plot which would indicate not only efforts which would be illegal under both American and Israeli elections law and potentially other laws and statutes are in actually being utilized. Below is their letter in full and it can be verified as authentic at the Ted Cruz official Senatorial Web Address. As promised, their letter below:

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

 

Congress of the United States
Washington, DC 20515

January 29, 2015

The Honorable John Kerry,
Secretary of State
Department of State,
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We write to express strong concerns over the recent media reports that a U.S. taxpayer funded 501(c) non-profit1 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.

On January 26, 2015, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported2 on the close coordination between these two entities. The reporter described his visit to the campaign operation in Tel Aviv, Israel, and the significant role Jeremy Bird, President Obama’s former deputy national field director (2008) and national field director (2012), is playing with V15.

The Haaretz report makes clear that the purpose of this alliance is to advance a particular ideological agenda: “With the help of American money and a former campaign adviser to President Barack Obama, V15 is trying to replace Israel’s government. The money and organization comes from V15’s partnership with OneVoice…OneVoice is expected to merge with V15 before the March 17 election.”3

V15 organizers reiterated this point to the Haaretz reporter, noting that instead of calling the operation “Anyone but Bibi,” members of V15 merely phrase it slightly differently: “We say ‘replace the government,’ it’s not directed at specific individuals. There have been many years of right-wing governments during which little happened, it’s time to change course and give people hope… We will go to homes and we will win…The work with the research team that Bird brought has really ignited sparks…”4

The January 27th OneVoice press release confirmed this goal. As its Executive Director declared, “We need a prime minister and a government who will be responsive to the people.”5

Of course private American citizens are free to engage in political activities according to their inclinations, but given the overtly partisan nature of this particular case, we are deeply concerned by the relationship that also exists between OneVoice and the U.S. Department of State. OneVoice lists the State Department as a partner on its website.6 In its 2013 annual report, the CEO of OneVoice touted the organization’s work “together in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem…made possible by two parallel U.S. Government grants.”7 According to a U.S. government website, OneVoice twice received grants89 from the State Department in 2014.

Given the public statements by a number of Obama administration officials, including the President, that it would be “inappropriate”10 for the government of the United States to exercise any influence over elections in a foreign country including Israel, we believe this issue demands your urgent attention. There appears to be a danger that U.S. taxpayer funds are being used to directly shape the outcome of the upcoming Israeli election–and specifically to campaign against Prime Minister Netanyahu–something all would agree would be highly inappropriate.

We request a thorough investigation by the State Department’s Inspector General within the next 15 days that answers the following questions:

How much funding has the U.S. Government provided to OneVoice, PeaceWorks Network Foundation, and any connected initiatives, projects or subsidiaries?

Who approved providing such funds?

What is the oversight and accounting process for how these funds are being spent?

How often and on what dates has such funding been provided?

What were the specific reasons and terms for providing funds, and how are these funds specifically being spent?

Can the Department of State guarantee that none of these funds have been or will be used in the endeavor detailed above, namely the partnership with V15, or any similar effort to exert undue influence over the Israeli political process?

Was there any knowledge from the State Department or other U.S. government officials of the partnership with V15 prior to providing funds to OneVoice?

Does OneVoice’s work with V15 violate its 501(c)(3) status (or the status of the PeaceWorks Network Foundation) as a tax-exempt organization and should such status be revoked?

Thank you for your prompt attention to this disturbing matter, and we look forward to your swift and detailed reply.

Sincerely,

Sen. Ted Cruz                                             Rep. Lee Zeldin
Member of Congress                                 Member of Congress

 

 

[1] “Recurring Donation Form,” OneVoice, http://www.onevoicemovement.org/subscrition/.
[2] Roy Arad, “The Obama Campaign Strategist Who Could Break the Israeli Elections Wide Open,” Haaretz, January 26, 2015, http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel-election-2015/.premium-1.639158.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] “OneVoice Israel Partners with V15 to Change Status Quo,” PRNewswire, January 27, 2015, http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/onevoice-israel-partners-with-v15-to-change-status-quo-300026229.html.
[6] “Our Partners,” OneVoice, http://www.onevoicemovement.org/partners.
[7] “The OneVoice Movement Annual Report 2013,” PeaceWorks Foundation/The OneVoice Movement, http://issuu.com/peaceworks/docs/onevoice2013annualreport.
[8] “The PeaceWorks Network Foundation-OneVoice Palestine,” USAspending.gov, http://www.usaspending.gov/explore?frompage=assistance&tab=By%20Prime%20Awardee&comingfrom=searchresults&federal_award_id=SIS40013CA0073&fiscal_year=all&typeofview=complete#section_1.
[9] “OneVoice Israel,” USASpending.gov, http://www.usaspending.gov/explore?frompage=assistance&tab=By%20Prime%20Awardee&comingfrom=searchresults&federal_award_id=SIS70013GR143&fiscal_year=all&typeofview=complete.
[10] “Obama: Netanyahu Meeting Before Israel Election ‘Inappropriate’ – CNN Interview,” Reuters, January 28, 2015,http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/28/us-israel-usa-iran-obama-idUSKBN0L11PM20150128.

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October 23, 2012

American Israeli Election Meddling, Setting the Record Straight

There have been claims made lately against Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in both the leftist liberal Israeli and American media of meddling in the United States Presidential Elections stemming from the cordial reception given Republican candidate Mitt Romney when he visited Israel during the campaign. The entire affair when looked at objectively was much ado about nothing. Mr. Romney was received with the same treatment given any candidate for such high office visiting Israel during the campaign. Yes, the Prime Minister met with him and they held a short question and answer session before the press. Yes, Mr. Romney was afforded the time and place to make a speech and to campaign in Israel. Yes, Mr. Romney was given the grand tour of Israel, something much more readily accomplished in Israel than in the United States, it would compare to a tour of New Jersey rather than of the whole of the United States. And yes, Mr. Romney was allowed to electioneer in Israel to those holding American citizenship and even to go so far as to hold a fund raiser among American citizens who wished to support him. And all of these events come within reason and closely resemble the exact treatment afforded President Obama when he visited Israel as a candidate before the 2008 United States Presidential Elections; it is all written up in the news accounts of the time and can be compared.

What is true is that there has been a consistent effort to entangle Prime Minister Netanyahu and to have him state a preference for whom he would prefer or thinks would favor Israel in the coming Presidential Election. It is also true that the Prime Minister has consistently answered all of these near endless attempts carefully and with almost word for word the same answer saying something close to, “I will work with whichever candidate wins the American Presidential election and will not interfere, support or state any preference as it is not my place as Prime Minister of Israel to comment or take positions on the election of the United States. Somehow that has been reported as making statements supporting Mitt Romney according to such unimpeachable sources as the New York Times, Haaretz and other news sources of a similar political slant. One can only guess as to why these liberal news outlets would try so consistently to show the leader of Israel or any other country to be supporting the opponent to the candidate they chose to support. It would make more sense if they were to try to imply that Bibi Netanyahu supported the reelection of President Obama as the head of state than have him portrayed as supporting President Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney. Well, that is unless they are casting the support from the elected leader of Israel as a negative rather than a helpful endorsement which opens up a whole can of worms about their views towards Israel and possibly Jews.

But now elections have been called for in Israel and the expectant flurry and positioning amongst the many disparate parties has begun. The expected main parties who will be contesting for leadership of the next Knesset and be allowed first shot at forming a coalition actually whittles down fairly quickly to just two parties, the oldest of rivals, the Labor Party and the Likud Party. This pits Prime Minister Netanyahu as the incumbent against the challenger in the personage of Shelly Yachimovich. There are a number of other parties who will put forth candidates at the head of their tickets as their prospective candidates for Prime Minister but these, unless something unexpected and out of the blue should occur, will simply be those people considered for the most important of cabinet posts when the coalition is formed and such offers made. Some, myself included, find this to be a less than perfect manner to assign positions and responsibilities of cabinet posts as this will not take into account the expertise of each individual to the post which they may be considered. Fortunately, these party leaders normally vie for the position that is closest to their particular political party’s interests which usually implies some amount of expertise, but still not the same as appointing somebody who has worked in a related field to each post as done under other governing systems.

Already, there have been two surprising, if not damning; revelations come forth in this young campaign season. The first we reported on in our recent article titled “Both of Our Fears Confirmed; One in United States and One in Israel,” where we commented on the fact that some of the main players from last summer’s food tent protests, which had been touted as a nonpolitical, grassroots, spontaneous expression of the people who have had enough of the high cost of living, have popped up as candidates offered in the coming elections. These demonstrations which caused disruptions in downtown Tel Aviv and drew significant crowds to Saturday night protests which offered free food and featured some of Israel’s hottest talents in musical entertainment (it always helps to feed and entertain the people to draw crowds) and received rave reviews in much of the liberal press and was even initially well received in conservative and Zionist circles until some events and confrontations where groups representing the residents from Judea and Samaria were summarily dismissed and informed they were unwelcome at these protests. We now realize that these nonpolitical protests were actually initiated by the leftists and the Labor Party as some of the main players and the most enamored of those reporting on the protests somehow showed up prominently on the Labor Party list for Ministers in the Knesset. But wait, there’s more.

As the immortal Yogi Berra said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” What had been reported but refuted by the leaders of the tent protests last summer was the presence and presumed assistance given by Stanley Greenberg, a leading Democratic political strategist. Mr. Greenburg has now popped up, much the same coincidence as the leaders and supporters of the protests popped up, to assist and advise the Labor Party in their campaign to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu’s bid for reelection. What makes this all the more disgusting is that this is the same Stanley Greenberg who, along with James Carville and Robert Shrum, helped Ehud Barak defeat Netanyahu in the 1999 elections as the leader of the Labor Party ticket. In those elections their participation as political strategists and advisors was traced back to and attributed to President Clinton. Where it has not yet been determined whether Mr. Greenburg is again representing Bill Clinton or whether he was assigned by the Democrat Party or even President Obama or possibly is simply offering his expertise in political tricks on his own volition, his presence reeks of political interference in Israeli elections by somebody representing the interests of the American political left and possibly the Democrat Party or even the current President. What will be even more telling is if after the November election is over if Mr. Greenburg will be joined by other Democrat Party political strategists to once again work to unseat Prime Minister Netanyahu just as was accomplished in the Israeli elections in 1999. If this effort is proven and traced back and implies that the American Democrat Party or even particular political individuals such as Bill Clinton are behind efforts to effect Israeli politics again, then who is guilty of influencing whose elections? Once bitten is coincidence and one is forewarned, twice bitten becomes subversive perfidy and conspiracy is born. The remaining question is no longer whether there is conspiracy, but simply who is behind the conspiracy and who is moving the political strategist pawns on the playing field.

Beyond the Cusp

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