AUSTIN, Texas – The former campaign advisor to President Barack Obama who was sent to Israel to defeat Netanyahu, failed as miserably with his “Battleground Israel” efforts as he did with Battleground Texas. Jeremy Bird led efforts by Democrats and the White House to have their own candidate elected, but that candidate lost in a landslide election. Battleground Texas candidates were just as soundly trounced in Texas in 2014.
Breitbart News reported that Bird, a former campaign advisor to President Barack Obama during his 2012 re-election bid, was sent to Israel by the Obama campaign team to try to unseat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and they did so through an organization that receives taxpayer grants from the U.S. Department of State.
In Texas, Battleground Texas’s candidates lost by a margin of around 20 percent. Despite predictions that “Battleground Israel” would win at least 27 or 28 seats, it turned out their failed efforts only garnered 24 seats, a nearly 15 percent turnaround.
It should not be surprising that an operative of the Obama Administration would not be any more effective in Israel than it was in Texas. Obama’s conduct towards Israel, and especially the Israeli Prime Minister, has been very unfriendly at best. Factor in that Bird once worked for an anti-Israeli activist that was condemned by the Anti-Defamation League, Edmund Hanauer, while he was attending Harvard’s School of Divinity in 2002.
Many consider Obama’s attempt to influence the election in Israel to be improper. The U.S. Senate has now launched an investigation into a non-profit organization, the OneVoice Movement, that was funding efforts to throw out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the Jewish Political News and Updates site JPUpdates.
Jeremy Bird, Obama’s previous campaign director, and his staff of five, arrived in Israel to help direct V15 [Victory ’15], which was trying to reach a million households in an effort to remove Netanyahu. OneVoice is prohibited from directly targeting Netanyahu, but its Israeli partner V15 can carry out the anti-Netanyahu campaign. OneVoice is barred from directly targeting Netanyahu by U.S. law regulating its tax-exempt status, and doing so would threaten that status.
Texans and Israelis were both able to see through the efforts of their respective “Battleground” operatives and elect leaders of their choosing despite Obama’s efforts to fundamentally change Texas and Israel.
This article was updated with additional information.
Bob Price is a senior political writer for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.