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A powerful U.S. Senate investigatory committee has launched a bipartisan probe into an American nonprofit’s funding of efforts to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the Obama administration’s State Department gave the nonprofit taxpayer-funded grants, a source with knowledge of the panel's activities told FoxNews.com.
The fact that both Democratic and Republican sides of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations have signed off on the probe could be seen as a rebuke to President Obama, who has had a well-documented adversarial relationship with the Israeli leader.
The development comes as Netanyahu told Israel’s Channel Two television station this week that there were “governments” that wanted to help with the “Just Not Bibi” campaigning -- Bibi being the Israeli leader’s nickname.
Bird ended his ties with the Obama campaign once elections were over, and like many other American political consultants he is often hired to work on campaigns overseas. One such consultant, longtime Republican operative Arthur Finkelstein, was for many years a key campaign adviser to Netanyahu. According to reports in the late 1990s, the money to hire him then came in part from American billionaire Ronald Lauder.
In an interview with an Israeli radio station, the head of the right-wing Likud party who faces a tough challenge from the centre and left in the upcoming vote, said he believed that Nordic politicians did not want him to remain in office.
"Scandinavian governments have spent millions of dollars on a campaign to remove me from power," he said on the station Kol Israel.
"Western governments, but mostly Scandinavian...They know perfectly well why they prefer Buji and Livni to me," he added, referring to his opponents.
In a separate interview with Rega Radio he was reported to have said that "foreign governments, specifically Scandinavians, are part of a worldwide campaign to topple me", according to a translation posted on Twitter by Israeli blogger and journalist Tal Schneider.
Sweden in particular has had strained relations with Israel in recent months after becoming the first western European country to formally recognize the state of Palestine.
The decision led to Israel temporarily recalling its ambassador from Stockholm and claims that Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström had been snubbed by Israeli government officials, after she cancelled a planned visit to Jerusalem.
But Netanyahu's comments about Scandinavian governments have been met with strong criticism from some social media users in Israel.
"What the hell has Scandinavia done to Benjamin Netanyahu?", wrote Jerusalem-based journalist Noga Tarnopolsky.
Israeli historian and writer Gershom Gorenberg posted: "last refuge of the fading strongman: accuse outside agitators, foreign governments".
originally posted by: xuenchen
Sources claim a U.S. Senate committee is investigating the possibilities of the Obama Administration (and all involved cohorts) meddling into the Israel elections where current Prime Minister Netanyahu is facing a tough re-election campaign.