70% of Jewish Israelis do not trust Obama to safeguard their nation’s vital interests in negotiations with the Palestinians.
II Obama Approval Rating Dives In Israel (see below)
I Netanyahu demands injunction against U.S.-linked group trying to swing Israeli election
Sunday, February 1, 2015
By AARON KLEIN
World Net Daily Exclusive
EILAT, Israel – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party hit back Sunday at a U.S.-linked organization staffed with former Obama campaigners now working to defeat Netanyahu in an upcoming general election. Victory 2015, or V15, attracted U.S. media attention after it hired 270 Strategies, a consulting firm whose senior leadership is comprised mostly of former top staffers for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
During a press conference Sunday, the Likud Party officially accused V15 and other related nonprofits of being supported “through millions of dollars funneled from Europe, the U.S. and the New Israel Fund and international factors interested in bringing down Prime Minister Netanyahu” who think “that all means are appropriate.”
The Likud further called for Israel’s Central Elections Committee to outlaw V15′s activities to “ensure the integrity of the election.” The party today will be filing an official complaint with the Committee seeking an injunction against V15, Likud sources said.
Reacting to the developments, Uri Wollman, V15′s spokesman, told WND his organization will not stop its campaign to ensure a center-left coalition forms the next government in Israel. Wollman accused Netanyahu and the Likud of “fabricating” a relationship between V15 and the Obama administration. “We have no relation to any U.S. political party, the White House or the State Department,” Wollman told WND.
Confirming the official Likud complaint, the contents of which were shared with WND, Wollman conceded the V15 effort against Netanyahu is funded primarily by three private philanthropists, two of whom are American:
S. Daniel Abraham, the billionaire founder of the Slim Fast food line. Abraham is a major donor to the Democratic Party and the Clinton Foundation (And, as pathologically dead Left as it is possible to be)
Daniel Lubetzky, a social entrepreneur whose OneVoice Movement is partnered with V15
Alon Kastiel, a Tel Aviv-based businessman and owner of multiple local venues, including bars, clubs and hotels.
WND previously visited V15′s Tel Aviv headquarters and interviewed the group’s founder, Nimrod Dweck, who explained the ultimate goal of his campaign was to ensure “center and left parties will form the next coalition.”
V15′s headquarters is actually the offices of a U.S.-U.K. group calling itself OneVoice. OneVoice bills itself as an “international grassroots movement that amplifies the voice of mainstream Israelis and Palestinians.” It has a clearly leftist tone.
OneVoice is reportedly sponsored by scores of nonprofits and received two grants in the past year from the U.S. State Department. The US State Department is also listed as a partner of OneVoice on the group’s website. (Huh? Since when is the US State Department authorized to go into partnership with political organizations?)
OneVoice development and grants officer Christina Taler told the Washington Free Beacon that “no government funding” has gone toward the V15 voter mobilization effort. V15′s complete takeover of OneVoice’s Tel Aviv offices, however, may raise some questions not only about the grant usage, but also about the State Department’s current partnership with OneVoice.
Indeed, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has called for an investigation into the State Department’s ties to OneVoice and the group’s anti-Netanyahu effort.
Aside from the State Department, OneVoice is also openly partnered with Google, the U.K. Labour Party and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. For its anti-Netanyahu campaign, OneVoice and V15 recently hired 270 Strategies, whose founder is ex-Obama campaign staffer Jeremy Bird. Bird served as a data analyst and a deputy director for Obama’s 2008 campaign and was the national field director for the president’s massive re-election machine.
Dweck told WND that Bird’s organizing skills are central to designing the evolving V15 battle plan. “Israelis don’t know how to run field (operations) as Americans [do], and that was the major contribution of Jeremy’s team,” he said. Bird has provided “very professional help about how to organize, manage people, how to go door-to-door, how to talk to people on the street,” Dweck said.
270 Strategies’ team of 45 staffers includes 16 members who worked directly for Obama’s campaigns. Most of the former Obama staffers hold senior posts at the firm. Others worked for the Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee or grassroots groups involved in progressive efforts, including a group to enroll Americans in Obamacare.
The involvement of Bird’s team has ignited reports in some conservative media outlets that Obama or his surrogate are attempting to influence the Israeli elections. Dweck dismissed those claims as “bullsh-t.” “It’s a matter of finding the right professionals,” he continued. “And if I need to pick the best professional in the world for the job, [Bird] knows what he is doing. 270 [Strategies] is a great company.” Besides the initial work to organize the group’s efforts, Dweck said he and V15 continue to consult with Bird and his firm on a regular basis.
The conservative blogosphere is largely focusing on the involvement of Bird in the V15 campaign.
A closer look at Bird’s consulting firm as well as its working relationship with the Israeli groups finds he is just one of scores of former senior Obama election campaign staffers now working on the anti-Netanyahu effort.
II Obama Approval Rating Dives In Israel
By Karl Vick @karl_vick Feb. 7, 2014
Less than a year after President Obama left Israel to the sound of loud cheering after he assured Israelis in Hebrew that they “are not alone,” a new poll has found that 70% of Jewish Israelis do not trust Obama to safeguard their nation’s vital interests in negotiations with the Palestinians.
The latest in a string of recent polls demonstrating a precipitous fall in the confidence Obama appeared to have restored during his three-day visit last March. On Jan. 26, a Times of Israel poll found only one in five Israelis trust Obama to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, as he has vowed to do. The same survey reported just one in three Israelis has a favorable opinion of Obama. Last May, in the afterglow of his state visit, 61 percent in a Pew poll expressed “confidence” in Obama.
What’s happened since? The answer is: two negotiations, and a lot of tart exchanges.
The first negotiation was with Iran: In November, the United States and five other world powers made an temporary pact with Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decried as a “a historic mistake.” Some prominent Israelis were less critical about the pact, which merely froze for six months a nuclear program that Israel wants to see dismantled, but Netanyahu’s ministers echoed his rhetoric, casting Obama as a sucker for an Iranian charm offensive.
The other negotiation was the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians that Secretary of State John Kerry has relentlessly pursued. The talks, intended to last for nine months, showed so little progress around the half-way point that Kerry has begun assembling a “framework” that would justify an extension. The effort pushed the most contentious elements of any deal into public view as politicians were forced to float possible compromises.
It also made Kerry an object of increasing resentment. Last month Netanyahu’s Defense Minister, Moshe “Bugie” Ya’alon, was forced to apologize publicly after the State Department objected to his referring to Kerry as “obsessive and messianic.” Then Israeli officials lambasted Kerry for warning Feb. 1 of the downside for Israel if the talks fail, including “talk of boycotts.” The reference was to an incipient international movement aimed at pressuring Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories using the kind of economic pressure brought to bear on South Africa when it enforced apartheid.
But Netanyahu’s government seized on the warning as a threat. Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said Kerry’s remarks were “hurtful..unfair…intolerable” and amounted to asking Israel to negotiate “with a gun to its head.” Netanyahu said “attempts to impose a boycott on the state of Israel are immoral and unjust.” The State Department read Netanyahu’s statement as a conflation of Kerry with the hazard he was flagging, and issued a statement of its own admonishing “all parties to accurately portray his record and statements.” On Monday night National Security Advisor Susan Rice joined in, posting on Twitter: “Personal attacks in Israel directed at Sec Kerry totally unfounded and unacceptable.”
But in Israel, at least, the damage was done. Friday’s Israel Hayom daily carried yet another poll, this one showing only 21% of Israeli Jews thought Kerry was speaking out of “concern for Israel.” Sixty percent, the survey said, took his warning as a threat.
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