Congress Investigating Obama Admin-Funded Campaign to Unseat Israeli PM
State Department purged emails about $300,000 grant to anti-Netanyahu group
Washington Free Beacon
September 16, 2016
Congress on Friday launched a wide-ranging probe into a secret Obama administration-funded campaign to unseat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to information exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The probe comes on the heels of an internal government report determining that the State Department provided hundreds of thousands to an organization that plotted to unseat Netanyahu in the country’s 2015 election.
Obama administration officials were found to have deleted emails from State Department accounts containing information about its relationship with OneVoice, the non-profit group that led the effort.
OneVoice, which was awarded $465,000 in U.S. grants through 2014, has been under congressional investigation since 2015, when it was first accused of funneling some of that money to partisan political groups looking to unseat Netanyahu. This type of behavior by non-profit groups is prohibited under U.S. tax law.
A group of nine leading lawmakers led by Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.) are now formally petitioning the State Department to come clean about the effort and provide answers about how U.S. taxpayer dollars were permitted to be spent on an organization working against the elected leader of America’s closest Middle East ally, according to a readout of the investigation obtained by the Free Beacon.
“State Department officials failed to properly vet the OneVoice grant proposal because they failed to properly conduct an analysis of risks in the pre-award phase,” the senators wrote in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. “Unfortunately, it seems that inconsistency and apathy toward oversight of such grants at the State Department is not new. Our aid dollars should be going toward solving real problems, not contributing to the destabilization of allied governments.”
The lawmakers—including Sens. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), Mark Kirk (R., Ill.), Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), Mike Lee (R., Utah), and Johnny Isakson (R., Ga.) among others—wrote that the State Department turned a blind eye to OneVoice’s highly partisan activities and failed to perform proper oversight about how U.S. funds were being spent by the group.
“State Department officials utterly failed to follow established procedures and guidelines to properly identify, mitigate, or guard against any risk that OneVoice would misuse these funds before, during, and after the grant period,” the letter said. “As a direct result of these failures, OneVoice was able to use the more than $300,000 grant to build campaign infrastructure and resources which later were deployed in support of a negative campaign against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his Likud Party, and the democratically elected coalition government of Israel during the 2015 Israeli parliamentary election.”
Source Article HERE
Congressional Research Service
U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians
Jim Zanotti, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affair
March 18, 2016
Since the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed more than $5 billion in bilateral economic and
non-lethal security assistance to the Palestinians, who are among the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid. Successive Administrations have requested aid for the
Palestinians in apparent support of at least three major U.S. policy priorities of interest to Congress:
Promoting the prevention or mitigation of terrorism against Israel from Hamas and other militant organizations.
Fostering stability, prosperity, and self-governance in the West Bank that may incline Palestinians toward peaceful coexistence with Israel and a “two-state solution.”
Meeting humanitarian needs.
United States Senate- Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
July 12, 2016
Review of U.S. State Department Grants to OneVoice – STAFF REPORT
In February 2015, the Subcommittee initiated an inquiry concerning the connection, if any, between OneVoice’s State Department grant funds and V15’s political activity. This report
outlines the findings from that investigation.
1- OneVoice Israel fully complied with the terms of its State Department grants.
2- The Subcommittee found no evidence that OneVoice spent grant funds to influence the 2015 Israeli elections.
The Jerusalem Post
by Michael Wilner and Gil Hoffman
July 12, 2016
NGO used US tax dollars in anti-Netanyahu election campaign, Senate finds
V15 founder Nimrod Dweck responded by highlighting the conclusion of the report – that State Department funds allocated to OneVoice were not used during the period of V15’s campaign.
“The campaign was funded solely by private individuals, Israelis and Jews in Israel and abroad,” Dweck said.
OneVoice defended itself, noting in a statement that the Senate report found the group in full compliance with the terms of its grants.
“The subcommittee ‘found no evidence that OneVoice spent grant funds to influence the 2015 Israeli elections,’” OneVoice noted, quoting from the report. “The subcommittee also praised OneVoice for its cooperation and for being ‘forthright’ with the State Department about its work.”
…Shaviv highlighted on his Twitter feed the parts of the report indicating that the infrastructure used against Netanyahu and the strategy for defeating the prime minister were developed during the State Department grant period, and that top officials at the US Embassy were aware of V15’s plans.
March 24, 2015
Report: White House Tried to Influence Israeli Election as Revenge Against Netanyahu
“…The White House is driven by three main motives,” an unnamed senior official told the Times of Israel. “The first is revenge. The second is frustration: It’s no secret that they were involved in an attempt to bring down the Netanyahu government – something that we have clear knowledge of – and failed. The third is the administration’s attempt to divert attention from the negotiations with Iran to the Palestinian issue.”
The source was likely referring to the group V15 which ran a get-out-the-vote campaign designed to push Netanyahu out of office. V15 was connected to the One Voice movement, which seeks a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The State Department reportedly gave several hundred thousands dollars to One Voice. V15 also hired a former Obama campaign strategist to run it’s campaign.”
One Voice Website
“Our staff and Youth Leaders maintain regular contact with policymakers in the White House, the State Department and Congress—as well as with thought leaders across the political spectrum, from think tanks to advocacy organizations—to sustain support for activists’ bold work. We are a member of the Alliance for Middle East Peace and recently partnered with them to brief Congressional staffers on the importance of the U.S. supporting a return to negotiations.
In 2013, the U.S. Government awarded OneVoice Israel (OVI) and OneVoice Palestine (OVP) two parallel grants to launched innovative, multi-platform initiatives to combine our grassroots network with a dynamic media campaign to build public support and accountability for the current negotiations.
OneVoice has also participated in numerous conferences at the United Nations, including a U.N. Alliance of Civilizations conference in Doha and received their Intercultural Innovation Award in 2009. We are also a civil society member of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and sustain a regular dialogue with many other U.N. agencies.”
The saga continues. Again the State Department is involved in another debacle. Geez you would think they would be tired of the scrutiny.
Makes one wonder when someone other than a Clinton or Obama machine cog gets into office just exactly what will come out after under the declassification process or more importantly how many records, emails, and transmittals will have “disappeared” that would have treasonous implications. Do I trust the committee report – duh – it’s during Obama’s reign and we already know that things simply are “lost” to public scrutiny or FOIA requests and how much control Obama has over his minions.
Plus the Senate has the remarkable record of not investigating any senators wrongdoing except to send a “slap on the wrist” letter to them. It also can’t seem to get its head out of the necktie supplied by Obama.
There is a lot of leaked material out in the ether of internet right now. We simply have not the time or patience or “someone” has squelched their search engine to obtain it. Given the looming September 30 deadline on the internet control on IP addresses (presumably that is all) , I am rather doubtful much will ever surface in that manner unless captured and downloaded to print quickly enough to be less traceable.