Lanterns: When Obama Meddled in Israel’s Election

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When Obama Meddled in Israel’s Election

It’s difficult to escape the persistent coverage of the Russians’ alleged hacking of the DNC and John Podesta, Clinton campaign manager, and co-founder—with her and George Soros—of the uber-left propaganda mill, Center for American Progress.

An unclassified report has been released by the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA. It's important to note that the timing and intense White House and media hype associated with this report doesn't make sense considering the hacking had gone on for some time.

In 2015, the Chinese hacked the personal data of over 21 million Americans from the Office of Personnel Management, and there was no reaction from the WH. Just days ago, ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked WH spokesman Josh Earnest:

“Why did the White House do nothing publicly in reaction to that hack? Which in some ways, was even more widespread than what we saw here from the Russians?”

Earnest had no coherent response.

According to the new report, the alleged Russian hacking went on for months. A report surely would have been provided to the WH by these agencies a long time ago. But only a few days ago, a full report was hastily knocked together. Why was there no action taken during the election cycle, or no ensuing avalanche of media coverage until Hillary lost the election? This smacks of a politicized intel report meant to hurt the incoming president.

Nevertheless, the report details, among other things, the Russians’ motives for the alleged hacking:

The intent was not to partner with Trump, but to get revenge on Clinton for past actions against Putin, and to help secure the election of an American president he could do business with. They liked Trump’s “Russia-friendly positions on Syria and Ukraine, and "Putin publicly contrasted the president-elect's approach to Russia with secretary Clinton's ‘aggressive rhetoric,’" said the report, and sought "a way to achieve an international counterterrorism coalition to deal with ISIS." It also said:  "Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011."

The report makes clear that the systems hacked were “not involved in vote tallying.”

WH presents Russian hack as an unprecedented evil act

Obama told ABC News: “It is possible for misinformation, for cyber hacking … to have an impact on our open societies, our open systems, to insinuate themselves into our democratic practices in ways that I think are accelerating…" and “The Russians intended to meddle and they meddled.”

When Obama meddled in Israel’s election

Speaking of meddling in another nation’s election: in December of 2014, Jeremy Bird, the “architect” of President Obama’s presidential campaigns began working to defeat Netanyahu in Israel’s March 2015 elections. We can’t put Obama’s action up to pique over Netanyahu’s speech to Congress warning about Obama’ Iran deal:  he delivered it on March 3, 2015, months later.

Bird worked through V15, an Israel-based group dedicated to defeating Netanyahu’s Likud. The NY Times reported that V15 (Victory 2015) and its partners asked Bird and his firm, 270 Strategies, “to share best practices in organizing so they can maximize their impact both online and on the ground.” Mr. Bird stated through a spokeswoman:

“We’re witnessing something special happening in Israel right now: There’s a groundswell of organic energy as more than 10,000 supporters are coming together to have a voice in their country.... [V15’s] “efforts are already paying off as they have reached out to more than 200,000 targeted voters, both in person and on the phone, about the need for change in Israel.”

What he didn’t say was those “targeted voters” were Israeli-Arabs. Investigative reporter Aaron Klein, wrote on February 6, 2015, that “A State Department-financed nonprofit based in Israel is currently engaged in a major effort to get young Arab voters to the voting booths in the upcoming Israeli elections.”

Did U.S. taxpayers fund anti-Bibi efforts?

Klein interviewed Amnon Beeri-Sulitzeanu, co-executive director of the Abraham Fund, who claimed that “his group’s voter participation activities are entirely nonpartisan and that his organization does not endorse any political party. “

But, on January 21st, “Abraham Fund Initiatives” issued a press release stating that the Fund:  “…has launched a broad-based action plan to encourage Arab citizens of Israel to participate in the upcoming Knesset elections.”

Though the release claims “the Abraham Fund is not interested in which party Arab voters choose,” it’s plain to one and all that Israeli Arabs will not be voting for the party of Netanyahu.

Klein writes:

“In 2010, the State Department provided the Abraham Fund a $999,715 three-year grant for an education initiative in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Education. Another part of the grant was designated to a project with the Israeli security services aimed at fostering closer Arab-Jewish ties.”

Klein wrote that Beeri-Sulitzeanu told him that “U.S. government funds are not being utilized for the voter-participation drive,” but Klein added, “He acknowledged, however, that ‘some [money for the project] comes from our core funding at the Abraham Fund. Since our workers are getting paid anyway, some of their job is dedicated to the vote project.’”

“A source close to the Abraham Fund said the financing for the voter participation project came in large part from private wealthy American donors,” Klein wrote, and “the same source” said “the voter-participation drive was encouraged by staffers from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.” However, Beeri-Sulitzeanu denied that.

Funding of OneVoice Israel and Victory 2015

Klein names, as one of three funders of V15, S. Daniel Abraham (no relation to the Abraham Fund), a “major donor to the Democratic Party and the Clinton Foundation.”

Jeremy Bird is a founding partner of the political consulting firm 270 Strategies, which was hired by V15. The firm is largely manned by “former top staffers for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.” V15 became a subsidiary of OneVoice Israel, which self-describes as an “international grassroots movement that amplifies the voice of mainstream Israelis and Palestinians.”

Like the State Department funding of the Abraham Fund (See above), possible misuse of taxpayer funds is also an issue with OneVoice Israel. “The State Department is … listed as a partner of OneVoice on the group’s website,” Klein wrote,” but it had been scrubbed. However, the Internet Archive still carries an image taken in 2014 showing the State Department listed on the “partner” page. [Scroll to the bottom.]

On July 12, 2016, the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) completed a probe into whether an American nonprofit, OneVoice Movement, used State Department funding in efforts to oust Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Fox News reported that according to the Subcommittee report,

"For 14 months, ending in November 2014, the U.S. State Department granted nearly $350,000 to the Israeli and Palestinian arms of the advocacy group OneVoice. Their goal? To support peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

Shortly after the U.S. Government grant ended, the OneVoice Israel movement absorbed and funded an Israeli group named Victory 15. Its goal? An Israeli political campaign to elect "anybody but Bibi Netanyahu."

Although OneVoice technically followed State Department rules by not directly using its funds in the anti-Netanyahu campaign, “OneVoice used the campaign infrastructure and resources built, in part, with State Department grants funds, to support V15,” said Fox. “Within days after the grant period ended, however, the group deployed the campaign infrastructure and resources created, in part, using U.S. grant funds to support a political campaign [known as V15] to defeat the incumbent Israeli government.”

Those resources included: “its social media platform, which more than doubled during the State Department grant period, its database of voter contact information… which OVI expanded during the grant period, and enlisted its network of trained activists, many of whom were recruited or trained under the federal grant...”

OneVoice even e-mailed its plan to the State Department during the grant period.

Obama's outrage over "alleged" election tampering is beyond hypocritical considering his involvement in Israel's election.

Written by Bob Bennett

Bob Bennett, a NY-based writer, has written op-eds for the WSJ and a cancer medical journal; op-eds and travel pieces for the NY Post and a cover article for the Jewish Press. He has also appeared with his wife on Fox News, discussing Obamacare.

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