Mueller Goes to Israel


New York Sun

May 22, 2018


News that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has sent his gumshoes to Israel certainly does bring this matter full circle. The report is that they are looking into the activities of what the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news wire characterizes as “an Israeli-run social media firm that may have led a social media manipulation effort to help Donald Trump get elected.”

Good luck to Mr. Mueller, is our sentiment. And, say, while he’s at it, maybe he can look into what President Obama and his political operatives were doing in respect of the Israeli election of 2015. Remember that one? As President Clinton did in 1996, Mr. Obama threw everything he had into defeating the right wing candidate, Benjamin Netanyahu, and electing the left of center faction.

It’s not just that a senior official in the Obama administration got himself quoted by Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic as calling Mr. Netanyahu “chickenshit.” Nor that Mr. Obama openly derided Mr. Netanyahu for having the chutzpah to accept an invitation to speak to a joint meeting of the United States Congress, though Mr. Obama did make the most of it.

It’s that on top of all this, according to the Washington Post, “an NGO with connections to President Obama’s 2008 campaign used U.S. taxpayer dollars attempting to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2015.” That was the conclusion of a bipartisan panel of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. It concluded something like $350,000 went to a group called OneVoice Israel.

OnceVoice Israel itself complied with the grant intended to support peace negotiations with the Arabs. Wouldn’t you know, though, that no sooner was the grant period over, to quote the Senate report, than “the group deployed the campaign infrastructure and resources created, in part, using U.S. grant funds to support a political campaign to defeat the incumbent Israeli government known as V15”?

As in Victory 15. The aim of V15 seems to have been to elect as prime minister anyone other than Mr. Netanyahu. It looked like that was in the bag, too. Only four days before the election, Reuters reported, the last opinion polls showed Likud losing to Zionist Union by something on the order of four seats. How could it be otherwise, with all the help Mr. Obama threw into the race?

Of course, the wily Israelis turned around and elected Mr. Netanyahu prime minister anyhow. The Democratic press here in America was fit to be tied. “Go ahead, ruin my day,” was the headline over Thomas Friedman’s column in the Times, in which he gamely suggested that the “facts on the ground” had made “a laughingstock of our hopes.” President Obama’s intervention never faced any proper reckoning.

Which brings us back to Mr. Mueller’s gumshoes at Tel Aviv. It’s not our purpose here to suggest that Mr. Obama broke any laws by attempting to throw the Israeli election. Never mind reports that it could be illegal for an Israeli (or any other foreigners) to interfere in our elections. It is our intention, though, to savor the hypocrisy that has become apparent to millions as Mr. Mueller has pursued his case.