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According to the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), the State Department gave $349,276 in U.S. taxpayer-funded grants to a political group in Israel to build a campaign operation, which subsequently was used to try to influence Israelis to vote against conservative Benjamin Netanyahu in the March 2015 election for prime minister.
In the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report about the State Department’s action, Chairman Bob Portman (R-Ohio) said, “It is completely unacceptable that U.S. taxpayer dollars were used to build a political campaign infrastructure that was deployed — immediately after the grant ended — against the leader [Netanyahu] of our closest ally in the Middle East. American resources should be used to help our allies in the region, not undermine them.”
“The State Department ignored warning signs and funded a politically active group in a politically sensitive environment with inadequate safeguards,” said Portman in a July 12, 2016 press release.
originally posted by: TruMcCarthy
I've said this in other threads, I find it unbelievably hypocritical from Dems to be so irate about Russian "interference" in our election when Obama tried everything he could to get Netenyahu the boot, or to shoot down Brexit. Obama threatened one of our greatest allies saying if Brexit went through we wouldn't be trading with the UK and that they would be placed at the back of the line. Where was the condemnation of Obama from the left?
The money that was spent $230k for Israel (OneVote Israel) and $120k for Palenstine (OneVote Palestine). Palestinians in the Palestinian Terroritories don't vote in Israel's national elections. All that money went to OneVote and was spent prior to November of 2014.
That's significant because Netanyahu didn't call for early elections until December of 2014. OneVote was actually established to promote a two-state solution. Netanyahu, if you'll remember (you won't), flip-flopped on his views on the two-state solution, culminating with comments RIGHT before the election.
Netanyahu: If I'm Elected, There Will Be No Palestinian State
In a definitive disavowal of his Bar-Ilan two-state speech, prime minister makes last-minute attempt to draw voters from Bennett's Habayit Hayeudi.
There's no there, there. Should we now talk about Israeli groups that seek to influence US politics and lobby for pro-Israeli policies? Then we can huff some gasoline, beat our heads into brick walls and maybe — maybe — get to a place where it makes sense to pretend that any of this is on par with Russia's actions.
A senior State Department official admitted to congressional investigators that he deleted several emails pertaining to the administration’s coordination with OneVoice. “The State Department was unable to produce all documents responsive to the Subcommittee’s requests due to its failure to retain complete email records of Michael Ratney, who served as U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem during the award and oversight of the OneVoice grants,” the report states.
Ratney was ultimately forced to tell investigators that “[a]t times I deleted emails with attachments I didn’t need in order to maintain my inbox under the storage limit.”
While Ratney had the option to archive emails—as required by the department—he did not do this. Ratney claimed he was not aware of the rule, stating he “did not know [he] was required to archive routine emails.”
The deletion of the email chains appears to be a violation of the Federal Records Act, which mandates official records be archived for future disclosure purposes.
Democrats Decry Russia Influencing U.S. Election. FLASHBACK: Obama Admin Funds Group That Tries to Influence Israeli Election.
The CIA's allegation that Russian hackers attempted to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in favor of Donald Trump has resulted in hysteria from Democrats, who have jumped on the theory as another means of explaining away the historic upset of the formerly "inevitable" Hillary Clinton. But before the Democrats get too carried away, a quick reminder: a bipartisan congressional report concluded that a non-profit funded by the Obama State Department attempted to influence the 2015 Israeli election to oust conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a vocal critic of the Iran deal.
After an extensive investigation, a bipartisan Senate subcommittee issued a report in July of this year stating that the non-profit organization OneVoice, which had received hundreds of thousands in taxpayer money from the State Department, had actively campaigned against Netanyahu during the 2015 Israeli election.
The Senate report confirmed what Netanyahu's team had said back in 2015: Obama had played a far more active role in the Israeli election than the American media had reported. Netanyahu's campaign specifically cited the involvement of Obama political operative Jeremy Bird and OneVoice, which they said had funded a campaign called V15 against the Israeli leader.
Jeremy Bird is a Founding Partner at 270 Strategies. He most recently served as the National Field Director for the 2012 re-election campaign of President Barack Obama, where he had primary responsibility for building a nationwide army of staff and volunteer organizers. Dubbed the campaign’s “Field General” by Rolling Stone magazine, Jeremy was listed among “The Obama Campaign’s Real Heroes” and has been cited as “a former Harvard divinity student who took to political organizing as though it were his higher calling.” He is credited with helping establish a ground game and turnout machine that in 2012 “reproduced – through brute force, dedication and will – a turnout in the swing states that in some cases bested the campaign's remarkable performance of four years ago.” He was previously Deputy National Director of Organizing for America and served in 2008 first as South Carolina Primary Field Director – leading a 29-point victory – and later as Ohio General Election Director – leading a 5-point victory. Across these roles, Jeremy helped create and implement the Obama campaign’s neighborhood team organizing model – an approach which transformed organizing in presidential politics by merging people-focused, community organizing with empowering and inclusive digital technology and cutting-edge data analytics. www.huffingtonpost.com...