Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:34 pm Obama and Indyk on election interference: Do What I Say, Not What I Do
Obama and Indyk on election interference: Do What I Say, Not What I Do
By Lior Ben-Ami
February 1, 2015
On January 22, 2015, former ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk was quoted in The New York Times regarding Prime Minister Netanyahu's invitation to speak to a joint meeting of Congress and to lobby for new sanctions on Iran:
"Netanyahu is using the Republican Congress for a photo-op for his election campaign and the Republicans are using Bibi for their campaign against Obama," said Martin Indyk, a former ambassador to Israel, using the prime minister’s nickname. "Unfortunately, the U.S. relationship will take the hit. It would be far wiser for us to stay out of their politics and for them to stay out of ours."
President Barack Obama says he will not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March because his trip to Washington comes too close to Israel's upcoming elections.
"I'm declining to meet with him simply because our general policy is, we don't meet with any world leader two weeks before their election," Obama said in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria. "I think that's inappropriate, and that's true with some of our closest allies."
Seems pretty clear. The US does not interfere with other countries' election campaigns.
Cartoon By Ronny Gordon
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And now . . . to the facts.
Obama visited Israel while running for president in 2008, as part of his election campaign. He was welcomed by then President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. He also met with then the opposition leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Obama "said he hoped his appearance here (in Israel) would open the door to a stronger bond with Jewish voters at home, pledged that if elected president he would not pressure Israel to accept concessions with Palestinians that would compromise security for Israelis. He also sought to allay concerns over his proposal to negotiate with Iran." (The New York Times, July 24, 2008)
As for Indyk, this is what ambassador Indyk wrote in his book, titled "Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East" about the 1996 Israeli elections, between Shimon Peres and Benjamin Netanyahu:
(As for the footnote, just look at Syria today and try to imagine what would have happened had Israel left the Golan Heights - Editor)
But that was back in 1996. Don't worry there's more.
"Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1) teamed up on a strong letter sent to Secretary of State John Kerry on January 29. It demanded a thorough investigation into the details behind news reports that U.S. taxpayer dollars are being used to oust Prime Minister Netanyahu in the upcoming Israeli election.
. . . Breitbart News reported on the anti-Netanyahu, left wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz report on a group called "One Voice,"reportedly funded by American donors, is paying for the Obama campaign team. That group is reportedly being led by Obama’s 2012 field director Jeremy Bird, who was also the founder of Battleground Texas, the federal and state Political Action Committee that worked overtime to turn Texas blue in the November 4, 2014 election. They failed miserably.
The Cruz-Zeldin letter to Kerry specifically spelled out Haaretz’s findings including that OneVoice was working with political campaign machine "Victory 15″ (V15) to replace Israel’s government. OneVoice is expected to merge with V15 before the March 17 election.
It also detailed one of the lead V15 organizers saying that instead of calling the operation "Anyone but Bibi," members of V15 merely phrase it slightly differently: "‘We say ‘replace the government,’ so it is not directed at specific individuals. There have been many years of right-wing governments during which little happened, it’s time to change course and give people hope…We will go to homes and we will win…The work with the research team that Bird brought has really ignited sparks…"
The letter expressed pointed concerns over the financial ties OneVoice has to the US State Department. They received grants from the State Department in 2014.
"OneVoice lists the State Department as a partner on its website. In its 2013 annual report, the CEO of OneVoice touted the organization’s work ‘together in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem…made possible by two parallel U.S. Government grants,'" the Cruz-Zeldin letter stated.
"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," Cruz also commented in the press release statement."
And who is on the Honorary Board of Advisors of "One Voice"?