Srdja Trifkovic discusses Senate probe of “anti-Netanyahu” U.S. Government funds on RT International.
In the final few days before the general election in Israel, it was announced that a bipartisan U.S. Senate committee with subpoena powers was investigating the possibility that the Obama administration has aided efforts to defeat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The investigation focuses on State Department grants of $350,000 to a non-profit group, OneVoice, that has conducted organizing efforts aimed at replacing Netanyahu’s government.
RT: There’s no love lost between Netanyahu and President Obama, that’s for sure. How much did the Americans want Netanyahu gone, do you believe?
Srdja Trifkovic: I believe that this is really an episode of domestic American politics. We know that the Senate provided a tremendous welcome to Netanyahu when he came to advocate what is, in effect, a U.S. attack on Iran over the nuclear program. It is really curious for U.S. Senators to be worried about 350,000 dollars – if you’ll please! – of taxpayers’ money, when at the same time U.S. taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House et al have spent billions trying to effect regime changes all over the world – not least in Ukraine, where on Victoria Nuland’s own admission some five billion have been spent over the past twenty years. For the U.S. which is the world master of the regime-change mania to suddenly be so virtuous as to worry about $350,000 – it’s a drop in the bucket. It is simply a signal from the U.S. Senate to the Administration that they basically support Netanyahu and the Likud. It is not a reflection of any specific wrongdoing, certainly not in the context of a much wider story of U.S. government money being pumped into quasi-NGOs which are trying to affect electoral outcomes.
RT: It’s also rare, isn’t it, for both Republicans and Democrats to jointly tackle an issue. Is that an indication how seriously this is being taken?
ST: If you look at the specific Democrats and the specific Republicans, you will find that these are the same people who provided Netanyahu with repeated standing ovations. We don’t encounter any Democrats who were absent from that particular occasion. That’s why I think it’s a politically motivated action. Let me also add that Netanyahu has no right to complain about foreign money being pumped into Israeli politics. He’s been receiving literally millions of dollars from Sheldon Adelson, the elusive multi-billionaire mogul from Las Vegas, the casino czar, who has been providing the funds for a free newspaper in Israel which has no other purpose than to see Netanyahu reelected. Netanyahu’s coffers are full of American money. Formally of course it’s not government money, just as – formally – when the National Endowment for Democracy or Freedom House provide funds, it is not “government money.” What we are looking at is David being accused of influencing Israeli politics, whereas Goliath – which is to say Netanyahu’s backers in the United States – are providing the real big bucks.
RT: Washington has never denied its support for human rights NGOs in Israel. How common is it for the U.S. to use those NGOs to meddle in other states’ policies?
ST: We’ve seen it in various countries, including here in Serbia where I am right now. They’ve done it consistently over the years. They’ve supported groups such as “Otpor”, which was the blueprint for the Georgian “Kmara.” Otpor was instrumental in bringing Milosevic down in 2000, Kmara in the Tbilisi revolution of 2003. These people are actively engaged in political subversion and in very direct – in Kiev it was even very physical – impact on the political process. The United States is actively engaged in regime-change operations all over the world.