After US Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Lee Zeldin questioned the State Department about possibly influencing Israeli elections, the Likud Party accused V15, a campaign organization, of using foreign money to fund a left-wing political campaign.
By: Atara Beck, World Israel News
Reports have repeatedly surfaced in the media that US President Obama is attempting to influence the outcome of Israel’s elections through funding and that one of his former top campaign advisers, Jeremy Bird, is in Israel helping the left-wing campaign.
Netanyahu’s Likud party held a press conference on Sunday in order to expose details about “V15 – Victory in 2015,” a campaigning organization that allegedly is using vast sums of foreign money to promote the left-wing Labor and Meretz parties in the elections.
Likud has also filed a motion to the Elections Committee, claiming that V15 is “making criminal use of foreign sources of funding” that are funneling huge sums of money into the left-wing campaign.
Ha’aretz reports that Bird, the Obama’s campaign national field director, came to Israel with a team of consultants and is running a grassroots, Obama-style campaign from an office in Tel Aviv.
V-15 is not supporting a specific party. The only message is: “Just not Bibi.”
Congress: This is unacceptable conduct
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) and Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1) sent a letter on Thursday to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding media reports that US taxpayer dollars are being used to fund efforts to influence upcoming elections in Israel, funneled through the State Department.
Cruz and Zeldin demanded to know, for instance, how much funding the US government has provided to these groups and who approved the funding.
“Has President Obama launched a political campaign against Prime Minister Netanyahu and his representatives?” Cruz asked. “This administration’s relentless harassment of Israel is utterly incomprehensible. The Islamic Republic of Iran is pursuing the deadliest weapons on the planet, and there can be no doubt that their first target will be Israel, followed by the United States. This administration should be focusing its animosity on the very real enemies we face, not on our staunch allies.”
“It is completely unacceptable to use US tax dollars to influence the elections in Israel,” added Zeldin. “State Department grants should never be given to entities working to overthrow strong allies like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We have great allies around the world, but Israel is our strongest, and a beacon of freedom in a region filled with radical Islamic extremists and state sponsored terrorism.”
In the letter, Cruz and Zeldin write: “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.”
Cruz further engaged in a Facebook campaign, saying: “Now it is time for a simple question: Has President Obama launched a political campaign against Prime Minister Netanyahu and his allies?”
Following the revelations regarding V15 and its US connections, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) stated: “Obama’s campaign team is giving advice in Israel on how to defeat Netanyahu, while Obama refuses to meet Netanyahu and hypocritically says that it is because such a meeting could be seen as interfering in the election.”