Israel’s Likud Party has petitioned the country’s elections committee to ban the Obama-connected V15 (Victory 2015) organization that is allegedly working together with another group, OneVoice, in an attempt to sabotage Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chances at reelection.
V15 recently hired Jeremy Bird, who was the national field director of President Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign, to head the group’s smear campaign against Netanyahu.
The Likud Party petition alleged that V15 was working to install leaders in Israel’s Knesset [Parliament] from the left-wing Zionist Camp (Labor Zionist coalition) and far-left Meretz (Socialist Party), according to Israeli paper Haaretz. The petition said that V15 “is making criminal use of anonymous foreign funding in extremely large amounts.” It adds, “Hiring services of this sort cost a fortune. We’re talking about foreign funding on an enormous scale, in violation of the Party Funding Law.”
“The clear purpose of the law is to prevent intervention in Knesset election campaigns via foreign money spent on campaign advertising,” said Likud attorney Shaul Shimron, who wrote the petition on behalf of the political party to ban V15. “It’s clear that injecting a lot of money that is neither reported nor supervised is liable to lead to extremist elements having an influence on the campaign,” he added.
Gerald Steinberg, who serves as director of NGO Monitor, told The Algemeiner regarding the ongoing scandal, “US State Department funding provided to this ostensibly non-governmental organization is another example of the lack of due diligence and accountability in the dispersion of taxpayer funding.”
V15 responded to the allegations of political malpractice, writing, “We are bringing in innovative work plans learned from successful campaigns overseas. Obama’s ‘recruitment’ to the campaign exists only in the fevered brains of right-wingers and Likud.”
Meanwhile, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Likud Party has seen a recent surge in its polling numbers. The Jerusalem Post has attributed Netanyahu’s boost at the polls to Israeli’s approval of his strong posture on national security.