Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) accused the Biden administration and Democratic lawmakers of working to oust Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and took aim at Democrats for reserving "special scorn" for the conservative prime minister.
"There is one foreign leader for whom the Democratic Party seems to reserve special scorn. Leading Democrats have called him a ‘reactionary,’ a ‘racist,’ an ‘ethno-nationalist,’" Cotton said during a Tuesday speech on the Senate floor. "They’ve accused him of committing ‘war crimes’ and of leading an ‘apartheid state.’ President Biden has called him ‘extreme’ and said they don’t agree on ‘a damn thing.’ Strong words."
"Who is this monster, you may ask? Were the Democrats talking about Vladimir Putin? Or Xi Jinping? Or perhaps Ayatollah Khamenei?" Cotton asked. "No, they were referring to Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister and one of America’s best friends. Once again, these Democrats have proven their tendency to coddle our enemies and condemn our friends."
Cotton cited the Washington Free Beacon’s reporting as evidence the Biden administration is working to foment political chaos in Israel that could topple Netanyahu’s conservative governing coalition. Since 2020, the State Department has funneled more than $38,000 to the Movement for Quality Government (MQG), a far-left Israeli nonprofit currently stoking nationwide anti-Netanyahu protests. The funding has fueled questions about how U.S. taxpayer dollars made their way to an organization with a clear partisan agenda. Cotton indicated the State Department may have breached its own regulations that bar funding to foreign political groups.
"The State Department doesn’t even deny it’s funneling money to these left-wing activities, by the way," Cotton said. "Which is troubling, because it’s a clear violation of the usual State Department policy against funding foreign partisan organizations. Not only is this U.S.-funded organization subverting a foreign government, it’s subverting the government of one of our closest allies. Secretary Blinken should immediately apologize to the prime minister of Israel, demand your money back, and open an investigation into how this happened."
Cotton said that efforts to interfere in Israel’s democracy were put into overdrive during the Obama administration, which funneled "hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars to a group called the OneVoice Movement," a group that helped run "anti-Netanyahu ads" in Israel.
"Now Joe Biden is simply following in Obama’s footstep by trying to sabotage Netanyahu," Cotton said.
Other lawmakers also have raised concern about the funding to MQG.
"The State Department should never fund foreign partisan organizations in allied democracies," Rep. Jim Banks (R., Ind.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, told the Free Beacon this week. "If the shoe was on the other foot, the Biden administration would accuse Israel of interfering in our elections. Congress should absolutely review the State Department’s potential funding of partisan politics in Israel."
Published under: Benjamin Netanyahu , Israel , Tom Cotton