Netanyahu rivals import American anti-Trumpers as election advisors

The heads of the two parties poised to draw the highest number of mandates behind Netanyahu’s Likud party are consulting with anti-Trump advisors.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

As Israel’s March 2021 election draws nearer, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main political rivals are seeking guidance from American advisors who campaigned against Trump and other Republican candidates.

The heads of the two parties poised to draw the highest number of mandates behind Netanyahu’s Likud party, New Hope and Yesh Atid, have obtained the services of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project and top Democratic advisors.

Yair Lapid, the leader of the center-left Yesh Atid party, landed in Israel on Monday just before Ben Gurion Airport’s weeklong closure aimed at stemming the flow of foreign strains of the coronavirus into the Jewish state.

According to Israeli media, Lapid visited the U.S. to consult on campaign strategy with Democratic advisors including Mark Mellman of Democratic Majority for Israel and his personal friend, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla).

Lapid, who had not publicized the trip, was spotted by a sharp-eyed passenger who posted a photo of the politician aboard the plane on Twitter.

Last week, Gideon Saar reportedly ordered members of his New Hope party to take polygraph tests, after a mole leaked to the Israeli media that he hired the anti-Trump Lincoln Project to help plan his campaign for the upcoming election.

Channel 12 reported that former Likud veteran Saar, who defected in a dramatic December speech to create the New Hope party, has been in talks with four Lincoln Project members on his strategy to unseat Netanyahu.

Founded by anti-Trump Republicans, the Lincoln Project ran a campaign aimed at convincing Republican voters to abandon party loyalty and not vote for Trump, arguing on its site that “electing Democrats who support the Constitution over Republicans who do not is a worthy effort.“

“Gideon Saar’s decision to employ the Lincoln Project personnel as strategic advisors is a threat to Israeli democracy and reveals a negative face in Saar’s approach to society and our politics,” wrote American-Israeli political commentator Caroline Glick on her Facebook page.

While the group publicly states its mission is protecting the Constitution, the Lincoln Project has shifted gears to “holding accountable” those who supported Trump or worked in his administration.

A late November attack ad from the Lincoln Project slammed Republicans who supported Trump’s questioning of the election results.

“They are treasonous, unpatriotic, downright despotic,” the ad reads, showing images of politicians including Senators  Mitch McConnell, Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and others.

“These hypocrites in office don’t care about a republic. They don’t care about our democracy or the constitution they swore on a Bible to protect,” the ad said.