Tags: Barack Obama | Israel | netanyahu | israel | elections | obama | Jeremy Bird

Obama Campaign Team in Israel to Coach Anti-Netanyahu Group: Haaretz

By    |   Tuesday, 27 January 2015 12:02 PM

A team of President Barack Obama’s political operatives arrived in Israel to campaign for the defeat of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the March elections just days after the White House complained about the Israeli leader’s plan to address Congress over Iran’s nuclear program.

The five Democratic consultants are led by political strategist Jeremy Bird, who was the field director for Obama’s key 2008 South Carolina Democratic primary election when he beat Hillary Clinton, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported this week.

Bird and his team are working with a group called Victory 2015, which aims to promote opposition candidates in the March 17 parliamentary elections.

The group, informally known as "V15," formed a political partnership with OneVoice International, an opposition organization founded in 2002 by Daniel Lubetzky, a U.S. businessman, Haaretz said. OneVoice describes itself as "an international grassroots movement that amplifies the voice of mainstream Israelis and Palestinians, empowering them to propel their elected representatives toward the two-state solution."

"Their secret campaign weapon is Jeremy Bird, a 36-year-old American political strategist who worked for Obama. Bird has come with a team of four consultants that will try to channel the energies of V15 into an organized methodology," Haaretz reported.

Bird told V15 and OneVoice supporters that he intends to organize their disorderly campaign offices and promote basic political tactics such as door-to-door canvassing of potential voters.

Haaretz reported that Bird called Israel an ideal country for a door-knocking campaign because of its relatively small size.

"Israel has very complex politics, a large number of parties and relatively high voter turnout, he says, adding that it’s possible to speak with enough people here to replace the government," Haaretz said.

The American political operatives arrived in Israel only days after Netanyahu angered the White House by accepting an invitation from House Speaker John Boehner to address a joint session of Congress over the ongoing international negotiations to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapons.

The White House strongly opposes additional sanctions against Iran, and Obama threatened to veto any sanctions bill that passes Congress.

Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, and Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey and former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, represent the growing bipartisan congressional opposition to Obama’s negotiations. The critics fear the White House is preparing to enter a weak deal with the theocratic government in Tehran that will fail to prevent Iran from building an atomic bomb and threatening Israel.

Menendez has been calling for Congress to adopt tougher economic sanctions that would be imposed if the Iranian regime refuses to halt its suspected nuclear weapons program or cheats on any future nuclear deal.

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A team of President Obama's political operatives arrived in Israel to campaign for the defeat of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the March election just days after the White House complained about the Israeli leader's plan to address Congress over Iran's nuclear program.
netanyahu, israel, elections, obama, Jeremy Bird, V15
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2015-02-27
Tuesday, 27 January 2015 12:02 PM
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