Israeli watchdog slams U.S. taxpayer-funded organization intervening against Netanyahu in election

NGO Monitor, an Israel-based group that scrutinizes the activities of nonprofit organizations in Israel, is criticizing the intervention in the forthcoming Israeli elections of a nonprofit group that has received funding from the U.S. State Department.  As was reported six days ago, an anonymous U.S. government official told leftist Israeli daily Haaretz, “Netanyahu spat in our face.  There will be a price,” after the prime mininster accepted an invitation to address a joint session of Congress.

The Algemeiner reports:

“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,” Professor Gerald Steinberg, whose organization tracks foreign funding of radical NGOs in Israel, toldThe Algemeiner. Steinberg was responding to reports that OneVoice International, which describes itself as an “international grassroots movement that amplifies the voice of mainstream Israelis and Palestinians,” and which has received two grants from State over the last year, is working with an Israeli group, V15, in an anti-Netanyahu campaign ahead of the Israeli elections in March.

According to the Washington Free Beaconwhich broke the story, former Obama aides are also involved in the campaign. However, OneVoice development and grants officer Christina Taler told the paper that “no government funding has gone toward any of the activities we’re doing right now whatsoever” – though she added that her group had used the State Department grants to “build public campaign support for the [Israeli-Palestinian] negotiations” launched by Secretary of State John Kerry last spring.

Money, of course, is fungible.  On paper, there may be no taxpayer funds used against Netanyahu, but the resources freed up elsewhere become available for the anti-Netanyahu activity.  Unseemly is the mildest adjective that can be employed to describe this project.  President Obama’s personal feud with the head of government of one of our closest allies is shameful.