Indignation at Election Interference Depends on Who is Doing the Interferring
Many believe that interference in a foreign election is a very bad thing. That may rely on the old adage, Do as I say, not as I do.
Perhaps the most recent US intervention in foreign politics came in Ukraine. In 2014, as protesters gathered there in an effort to overthrow their elected government, a senior State Department official appeared in the crowd to encourage their revolt. She was caught telling an aide which Ukrainian politician was “the guy” Americans had chosen to be Ukraine’s next leader, and asserting that the United States would “midwife this thing.” A few weeks later our “guy” became prime minister — setting off a crisis that ended with Russian military intervention.
Regardless of the real facts of who did what and why it happened (and was known to have happened) in the summer of 2015 leading up to our 2016 elections, let’s not forget what happened to our ally, Israel, in their last election:
There’s a new grassroots, door-to-door knocking, community organizing style campaign effort that just landed in Israel. It’s focused on hoping for change and changing for hope and taking-the-street-to-the-street style shake it up electioneering.
Flying in to run the show is none other than Jeremy Bird. The same Bird who was the deputy national campaign director and then national campaign director for Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, respectively.
The new outfit is called V15 (as in Victory 2015), and it is a project of something called OneVoice, which is itself a program of the PeaceWorks Network, a non-profit, tax-exempt entity
Eh? Tax-exempt? .
And on its tax form, where it is required to state the purpose of grants it makes to entities or organizations outside of the U.S., including the grants it makes to the “Middle East and Africa,” the purpose it states is “educate peace and condemn violence.” Nothing about running a campaign field office. And how could it, given it is a 501(c)(3) entity. Where is Lois Lerner when you need her?
Finally, there is another source of information about the kinds of bedfellows the V15/OneVoice/PeaceWorks Network keeps. It is the listing it provides of its partners. Along with at least half a dozen “peace” organizations and even the UK Conservative Party, it has lots of questionable listings. Those include: Association of British Muslims, the Christian Muslim Forum, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the New Israel Fund, Yachad (the “British J Street”), Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East, the UK Labour Party and Labour Friends of Israel.
Their partners also include the European Commission and the U.S. Department of State.
Well, maybe we can take comfort in their overall mission of peace and respect of our great friend, Israel.
OneVoice explains in its 2014 Annual Report that it is dedicated to peaceful solutions in the Middle East. This is how it describes the actions it takes to bring about change:
promoting popular resistance, state-building, and the Arab Peace Initiative, while advocating for an end to the conflict and a two-state solution along the 1967 borders.
Two-state solution. At the risk of being redundant,
Ashrawi stated that Kerry gave Israel “a great prize” because he referred to “a Jewish state” - something the Palestinians “have refused and still refuse” to accept. In addition, Ashrawi interpreted Kerry’s speech as denying the Palestinian “refugees” the “right of return.” The two things are interconnected. The PA knows that were significant numbers of refugees to enter Israel they would turn it into a binational state, which is why the PA refuses to accept Israel as a Jewish state.
Pray for Peace. Pray for wisdom for all leaders.
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