Demands injunction against U.S.-linked group trying to swing Israeli election
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
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.”
State Department ties
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 State Department is also listed as a partner of OneVoice on the group’s website.
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.
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