Israeli ‘get out the vote’ campaign disguises more sinister motives, report says

The “Third Time is Enough” page on Facebook was set up by a foreign-funded left-wing organization, an Israeli daily reveals.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A campaign to ostensibly ‘Get out the Vote’ for the March 2 election is taking advantage of a legal loophole to hide the fact that its financing comes from a leftist organization targeting populations likely to vote for left-wing parties, Israel Hayom reported in an exclusive on Tuesday.

A Facebook page by the group HaBrit HaYisraelit (or “The Israeli Alliance”) named “The Third Time is Enough” became active in January. Its name refers to the fact that Israel is going to the polls for the third time in a year due to a political stalemate.

The page calls on Israelis to go out and vote and prevent yet a fourth election. The message seems unbiased enough, but  Israel Hayom reports that “The Israeli Alliance” is a group founded in 2017 by veteran left-wing activists that pushed an anti-right-wing, anti-Netanyahu line in the previous elections.

In just six weeks before the September vote, “The Israeli Alliance” spent 2.7 million shekels on Facebook advertising, the report said.

In less than a month of the current electioneering, its social media campaign ‘Third Time is Enough,’ has already spent  300,000 shekels in its online advertising. This rivals the expenditures of the two largest Knesset parties, Likud and Blue and White.

But while its content is all clearly borrowed from themes pushed by the left-wing of the political spectrum, it is careful not to endorse any specific party.

If it had done so, the group would have fallen under the campaign financing laws that require political parties and their supporters to report their activity, including who is backing them. According to the daily, the organization has used this legal loophole and has not registered as a political player.

A likely major source of funding was exposed until a few days ago. The Israeli Alliance website recently deleted a statement that it is supported by the American Tides Foundation.

Tides has received millions from Jewish billionaire George Soros, who is a harsh critic of Israel and U.S. policies toward the Palestinians, “specifically the refusal to accept the participation of Hamas in a Palestinian government,” NGO Monitor reports. Funding from his Open Society Foundation has gone to groups that support the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement.

Although Facebook refused to reveal data relating to the population groups targeted in the advertising campaign citing privacy laws, the paper said that most of the campaign is directed at people living in the center of the country, primarily in the Tel Aviv area.

This lends credence to the report’s claim that the message to ‘Go out and vote’ is directed to areas the campaign organizers believe will help the Left.