The political season is upon us once again. Ted Cruz, who launched his career as the unelectable senatorial candidate from Texas has now announced as the unelectable presidential candidate from the Senate. After him the deluge. Candidates will come out of the woodwork and turn on the waterworks. This in turn will generate loads of legwork and footwork in support of the candidates’ handiwork — done by campaign strategists, analysts, and pollsters.
Where have these hardy souls been since November, when they were scattered across the country guiding governors and senators and representatives through the midterms? They have been in another country! A country that holds fair and open elections and has a vibrant political debate at the heart of its culture. A country that has maintained a special friendship with the United States and American People since its inception in 1948. A country named Israel.
This has been going on for some years. The operatives who work with our left go to Israel to work with their left, and the guys in the right do the right thing. It has gotten to the point that Israel seems to deliberately schedule elections between March and June so they can get our Boys of November to bail them out in their bailiwick without missing the action back home.
Yet on the eve of Passover 2015, we find ourselves asking: “Why is this year different from all other years?” This time it appears that the Democrats working with the Israeli left-wing Zionist Union were not mere employees and paid consultants making an honest buck by advising kindred politicians. These were Obama hatchet men who came to the party BYOB. Yes, BYOB… Bring Your Own Bucks! These folks were being bankrolled by the State Department and by Democratic Party donors.
We reported on some of this in a prior article, but new revelations call for us to ratchet up the dosage of bile. Among other outrages we discover that funds are being funneled to the Israeli left wing from the Middle East Partnership Initiative of the United States Department of State. This program was designed to help support democratic movements against totalitarian, authoritarian, kleptocratic, and theocratic Middle East regimes; it has given at least one million dollars over several years to Israeli leftist organizations.
Get it? Netanyahu is like Qaddafi and Assad! We need to finance the Israeli Spring!
For the inside scoop on the Obama effort to sabotage Netanyahu and the thwarting of that effort, we turned to John McLaughlin, widely respected Republican campaign strategist and chief pollster for Netanyahu. He was gracious with his time and his expertise.
“Look, the Obama people are good at what they do and they are not used to losing. They go in and get out the vote and divide people while accusing you of being divisive. We fought them hard state by state in November and we beat them. They were not too happy about that.”
McLaughlin explained that Obama’s team mobilized in Israel from the moment Netanyahu called the election back in December. This was long before Boehner had extended the invitation to Netanyahu to address the joint session of Congress. Instead of officially going to work for Zionist Union, they signed on with V-15, the shadowy anti-Netanyahu organization. (See our earlier piece, “Heavy Meddle,” for a description of this group and its stated mission.)
The big guru sent to help that effort was Jeremy Bird, considered Obama’s master of grassroots and online outreach. Among the innovations his team brought to the table was the idea of merging the three Arab parties into one, which wound up increasing their representation from eleven seats in the Knesset to fourteen. Personally, as someone who lived in Israel for a decade and experienced these elections firsthand, the idea that the strategy for the Arab minority in Israel to undo Netanyahu originated in the Democratic Party gave me an awful jolt.
To make sure the local Arab chieftains rally their tribes, mayors of Arab villages in Israel were flown to Virginia for training in the Democrat GOTV (Get Out The Vote) model. Some of them did not have updated passports but the American consulate expedited their visa applications to enable this little hegira. Did the mayors pay for these treks out of their own pockets? Inquiring minds would like to know.
Another little fictive fig leaf was the claim by the Arab List that they would not join either party in a coalition but would instead be an institutional gadfly, setting themselves up as the perpetual outsiders protesting against the Establishment. In fact, it was an open secret that the Arabs would align with Zionist Union against Netanyahu if given the chance.
As the day of the election approached, Netanyahu’s fortunes waxed and waned. He had called the elections at a time the polls showed him coming in second; he was confident he would build up steam to finish strong. Indeed he jumped out to a lead fairly early. But then the attrition of the V-15 sniping began to wear him down.
Here McLaughlin cites another astonishing stat. V-15 under Bird spent much more on digital advertising, which was a lot harder to track than what the major parties were allocated to spend on radio and television. In the end, Israeli insiders believe that the digital expenditure by V-15 was more than the digital ad buys of all eleven parties put together! This means that there was upwards of ten million dollars in the V-15 coffers.
Although Netanyahu’s speech to Congress was much acclaimed on Capitol Hill, it was used against him by Zionist Union and V-15. It was portrayed as provocative, as poorly planned, as inappropriate, as egotistical. It was time for cooler heads to prevail.
At the last minute the resentment against Obama’s blatant interference played into the hands of Netanyahu and parties of the right. The polls turned Sunday night ahead of the Tuesday election. Zionist Union blinked and showed weakness by suddenly dropping Tzipi Livni from her share of the top of the ticket. Netanyahu accepted McLaughlin’s advice and made himself very visible in the final hours of the campaign. Leery of Democrat tricks, Netanyahu kept his poll watchers active and alert until the polls closed at 10 p.m.
In the end, Obama’s meddle-of-the-road team was seen as extremists and interlopers, and Netanyahu scored a decisive victory against all the tricksters and the ill-wishers. He won one for Israel but he also won one for America by putting these chutzpah-niks in their place. It gave us hope that we can arrest the sniper and repel the invader.
“We beat them here in November,” says McLaughlin. “And now we beat them there in Israel. And we are going to have to keep beating them over the next eighteen months…”