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'Israel Hayom' fumes over U.S. money in Israeli politics

American-funded campaign to put Netanyahu into power complains that a campaign to remove Netanyahu from power received American funding.

By Shuki Tausig

American casino magnate and owner of ‘Israel Hayom’ (C) speaks with Benjamin Netanyahu at an event in Jerusalem, August 12, 2007. (Flash90)

American casino magnate and owner of ‘Israel Hayom’ (C) speaks with Benjamin Netanyahu at an event in Jerusalem, August 12, 2007. (Flash90)

Wednesday’s front page of Israel Hayom, the Netanyahu family mouthpiece owned and funded by American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, appeared seriously flustered by the news that a campaign to topple the prime minister enjoyed American resources.

According to the article in Israel Hayom, the U.S. State Department funded “One Voice” to the tune of $349,000 for politically neutral purposes, but that organization then made available the resources built with that money to another organization, V15, which used them for political purposes.

For comparison’s sake, Shlomo Ben-Zvi, Adelson’s former partner in establishing the free daily newspaper that preceded Israel Hayom, testified in a 2011 legal battle between the two men, that according to his calculations Israel Hayom loses roughly $3 million each month. (Hebrew) The newspaper has been in operation for nine years.

According to Haim Shine, the free-sheet’s resident political commentator, the fact that the U.S. government gave more than $300,000, which was indirectly used for a political campaign against Netanyahu, is proof that “President Obama used U.S.-government mechanisms against the election of Netanyahu and was neck-deep in an attempt to effect the results of an Israeli election?”. (Hebrew)

“The American administration treated Israel like a South American banana republic and thought it could use money to influence [Israeli] citizens’ opinions,” Shine continued.

I wonder what Shine would write if a Jewish American billionaire injected tens of millions of dollars into an Israeli political campaign to put Benjamin Netanyahu into power, tens of millions more to keep him there, and then distributed that campaign’s political materials to hundreds of thousands of Israelis every day.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated the amount of the State Department grant to One Voice in millions instead of thousands of dollars. The mistake was made in translation. We apologize for any confusion.

This article was first published in Hebron on The Seventh Eye.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Giora Me'ir

      Monumental chutzpah.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Mike H

      Yes well, I think you’ll find that Israel far worse than a ‘South American banana republic’

      Reply to Comment
    3. L'etat c'est moi

      Government money is the issue, not American money.

      Same deal with the NGO transparency law- why is it so difficult for all y’all to understand the difference between private and government activity?

      Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        So if the US government were to decide to permanently block AIPAC from lobbying, or having anything at all to do with public officials, this would be OK?

        Reply to Comment
    4. Rascal

      Of course both Adelson and Bibi are angry about US money in Israeli politics: as long as it isn’t Adelson’s it should be banned.

      Reply to Comment
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