The U.S. government was informed of the overtly political agenda of OneVoice Israel and OneVoice Palestine – to defeat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – but gave the groups American taxpayer money anyway.
The report from the American Center for Law and Justice comes in its ongoing Freedom of Information Action case against the government over the Obama administration’s granting of taxpayer funds to groups trying to intervene in the election of a close U.S. ally.
“The ACLJ has just uncovered what appears to be direct correspondence between the CEO of an anti-Israel group that was being funded by the Obama State Department and undisclosed recipients at the State Department itself,” ACLJ said.
The organization is demanding information from the government about the process through which U.S. taxpayer grants were handed out to OneVoice Israel and OneVoice Palestine.
“These are the nonprofit organizations that used digital infrastructure built with U.S. government funds to orchestrate an attempt to unseat the government of Israel in 2015,” ACLJ explained. “The records we obtained include further confirmation of the bias of the OneVoice organizational leadership against Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and in favor of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.”
Emails from then-OneVoice Movement chief Marc Ginsberg to an “undisclosed listserve” were provided to ACLJ by the State Department in the FOIA case.
“While it may not be unusual for a former ambassador who spent his career at the State Department to remain in contact with State Department officials, these emails provide evidence that the State Department was aware of this anti-Israel group’s overtly political nature as far back as September 2013 and its true anti-Israel intentions.”
One of Ginsberg’s emails attacked Netanyahu for his belief that the lack of peace in the Middle East was the fault of the Palestinians and their leaders.
He claimed Netanyahu’s concerns about Palestinians “flooding Israel with Palestinian refugees, refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and seeking to ‘amputate’ parts of the Negev and Galilee from Israel – were unfounded.”
However, the ACLJ report said, not even Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas now claims that.
Another Ginsberg email included an article titled “Can Gaza Ever be Pacified?”
“These articles were included in the State Department’s document production to ACLJ because they were sent by Ginsberg – during the period of the State Department grants to OneVoice – to one or more employees in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), the office within the State Department that deals with U.S. foreign policy and U.S. diplomatic relations with, among others, Israel and the Palestinian Territories,” ACLJ said.
“It is clear from these emails that the Obama State Department was aware of OneVoice’s opposition to Netanyahu and support for Abbas – whose son was one of its leaders – at the same time State was doling out hundreds of thousands of U.S. taxpayer dollars to it.”
ACLJ said a third document proves the situation was even worse.
When Ginsberg announced his affiliation with OneVoice on Sept. 26, 2013, the group confirmed its objective was to “deploy traditional political advocacy tools … to encourage Israelis and Palestinians to support two-state talks.”
“We learned about one such tool in another email sent by Secretary of State John Kerry’s Deputy Chief of Staff Jonathan Finer (six days before he was named chief of staff – and more importantly, exactly one week after the State Department falsely told Congress no funds were used to influence the Israeli election) to Wendy Sherman, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, among others,” ACLJ said.
“In short, these documents provide further confirmation that the Obama State Department had ample reason from the outset of the OneVoice grant request, as well as during the grant period, to know OneVoice’s intentions and to ensure that U.S. government funds were not used in any way to interfere in the political elections of another country,” the organization said.
WND reported last month ACLJ had found evidence the Obama State Department misled Congress about the use of U.S. tax money to intervene in the Israeli election.
ACLJ explained the U.S. taxpayer funds were distributed “with clear political goals of undermining – indeed, unseating – the sitting prime minister of a U.S. ally.”
WND reported in January Democrats have been virtually silent on the issue.