The V15 Failure

The clearer the picture becomes as to the extent of White House meddling in Israel's democratic elections, the greater the outrage. Thank God Israelis were smart enough not to be fooled.

Matan Peleg

OpEds Matan Peleg
Matan Peleg
צילום: יח''צ

Now that the dust from the elections has settled, more and more Israeli citizens realize how sophisticated and well-funded the campaign to replace the current government in the 2015 elections was.

If only we had realized in real time the size and extent of this outrage, it may very well have been that the antagonism towards the NGO V15 and the Labor party would have been expressed not only in the voting booths, but also several weeks earlier. We might also have to assume that even in the Tel Aviv strongholds of the V15, at the very least, people would be slamming doors in their faces.

The V15 Affair created among many the feeling that a line was somehow dramatically crossed with regards to US-Israel relations. The direct involvement of prominent figures in the US Democratic Party in Israel’s internal affairs revives the stereotype which the US suffered from in South American in the mid-1980’s: that of a superpower involving itself in and stirring the pot of the internal politics of various countries, without the slightest pangs of conscience, and regardless of the local citizen’s desire, and all for personal interest.

But that is not how a friend is meant to be treated, how an ally is to be treated. The Unites States government can criticize Israel all they like, they know that Israel will always be at their side when the bugle calls. So then, why treat Israel which such brutality? Israel is not a third-world country. It is a democracy in a geo-political region defined by many as a literal “Hell on Earth”. So there should be no surprise that there was created a fierce and immediate outrage in the Republican Party aimed at Obama and his administration. Outrage that will only increase once the dust settles and the picture becomes clearer.

Meanwhile, we know that aside from massive fundraising, V15 acquired the services of Jeremy Bird, Mitch Stewart and Mark Beatty, who formerly were instrumental in paving Obama’s path to the presidency. And we know that the leaders of the organization were in direct contact with advisers to the Democratic Party. We will know more in the future. This much is clear.

Yet, despite all of the above, the Israeli citizens were not led astray by Jeremy Bird’s system which firmly believes in hollow one and two-word slogans (“Simply Replacing”, “Victory”, etc.), nor by the emotional and depressing video clips which tried to give us the feeling that we are all starving for bread and for respect, as if Fidel Castro himself were sucking our blood dry.

The Israeli citizen is far more complex and much smarter than two-word propaganda, and he will not murmur those two words on the way to the ballot box, even if he is pursued by them in every possible advertising space available, be it YouTube, Facebook, billboards or attractive banners on every possible news website.

So yes, the "Im Tirtzu" counter-response, which stepped forward to balance the equation should not be surprising either. Regardless of the massive telephone operation run by "Im Tirzu", which easily made more than 100,000 phone calls, or the running of hundreds of field activists with efficiency (which hasn’t been seen by any political party or other organization), without the support and cooperation of the citizens themselves, none of this would have produced results. V15 also had hundreds of activists and hundreds of hours of telephone calls made.

But therein lies the principal difference between an organization which really appeals to the heart with simple language, and an imported organization founded yesterday, who it is unclear which master they really serve.

The citizens of Israel don’t want any State aside from a Jewish State. They are ready to suffer high chocolate and pudding prices, as long as they are guaranteed a State with a Zionist future.



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