TEL AVIV – A non-profit at the center of controversy regarding its campaign to defeat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Tuesday’s polls has removed the State Department from its website’s list of “partners,” WND has learned.
Below is a snapshot taken by WND last month, which clearly shows the U.S. Department of State, replete with a logo, listed as a “partner” of the OneVoice Movement on the group’s website.
Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine also has a cache image taken in 2014 showing the State Department listed on the same “partner” page.
The State Department logo is missing from the current version of the same page listing OneVoice’s partners.
A OneVoice spokesperson did not immediately return a request seeking comment on the issue.
One Voice is a US.-U.K. non-profit sponsoring V15, a new Israeli political action group leading a get-out-the-vote-organizing drive aimed at replacing Netanyahu’s government with a center-left coalition.
OneVoice’s offices in Tel Aviv are being used as the campaign headquarters for V15′s anti-Netanyahu effort, as WND first reported.
It was OneVoice that reportedly hired 270 Strategies, a consulting firm whose senior leadership is comprised mostly of former top staffers for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. 270 Strategies has been consulting in V15’s campaign.
Uri Wollman, V15′s spokesman, told WND last month his group is primarily financed by three private donors, including OneVoice founder Daniel Lubetzky.
Yesterday, Fox News quoted a source revealing a bipartisan U.S. Senate committee with subpoena powers is investigating the possibility the Obama administration may have aided OneVoice’s efforts to defeat Netanyahu via grants from the State Department.
OneVoice received a State Department grant for $350,000.
OneVoice development and grants officer Christina Taler told the Washington Free Beacon last month that “no government funding” has gone toward the V15 voter Mobilization effort.
However, V15′s complete takeover of OneVoice’s Tel Aviv offices may raise some questions, not only about the grant usage, but about the State Department’s current partnership with OneVoice.
Aside from the State Department, OneVoice is also openly partnered with Google, the U.K. Labour Party and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
Another U.S.-backed scheme to defeat Netanyahu exposed
While Fox News reported the Senate was looking into the State Department funding for OneVoice, the organization is not the only state-funded group leading an effort to defeat Netanyahu.
WND exposed the second scheme last month in an article documenting a State Department-financed nonprofit based in Israel currently engaged in a major effort to get young Arab citizens to the voting booths in the upcoming Israeli elections.
Israeli election trends have long demonstrated that Arab citizens vote overwhelmingly for left-wing and Arab parties. Any increase in the Arab vote would clearly come at the expense of the Likud Party and other right-wing parties.
Indeed, following the country’s most recent parliamentary election in 2013, Arab lawmakers complained that a higher Arab voter turnout could have tipped the election toward the left and defeated Netanyahu.
Now, for the first time, four Arab political parties here have united under one banner, calling themselves the Joint List.
Polling is showing the Joint Arab List could potentially gain at least 12 seats in Israel’s 120-seat parliaments, finishing third and potentially becoming a major force in coalition building to form a new government that consists of a plurality of the Knesset.
If Israel’s leftist parties fair well, they could form a coalition with the Arab parties and replace Netanyahu’s governing coalition.
As WND reported last month, the U.S. has not been standing on the sidelines when it comes to mobilizing the all-important Arab vote.
In an interview with WND, Amnon Beeri-Sulitzeanu, co-executive director of the Abraham Fund, maintained that his group’s voter participation activities are entirely nonpartisan and that his organization does not endorse any political party.
The Abraham Fund works to encourage Arab participation in the Israeli economic, cultural and civic arenas. Its slogan is: “Building a shared future for Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens.”
In 2010, the State Department provided the Abraham Fund a $999,715 three-year grant for an education initiative in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Education. Another part of the grant was designated to a project with the Israeli security services aimed at fostering closer Arab-Jewish ties.
Beeri-Sulitzeanu told WND the U.S. government funds are not being utilized for the voter-participation drive.
“The initiative is being paid for by private donations from donors interested in Arab participation,” he said.
He acknowledged, however, that “some (money for the project) comes from our core funding at the Abraham Fund.”
“Since our workers are getting paid anyway, some of their job is dedicated to the vote project,” he said.
A source close to the Abraham Fund said the financing for the voter participation project came in large part from private wealthy American donors.
The same source told WND the voter-participation drive was encouraged by staffers from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.
Asked if there was truth to the claim of U.S. Embassy encouragement, Beeri-Sulitzeanu simply responded, “No.”
The Abraham Fund is the second State Department-financed nonprofit to engage in voter-organizing activities.