by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Adam Kredo of the Washington Free Beacon reports that American tax dollars are bankrolling efforts against Israel’s prime minister.
The U.S. government has been funneling taxpayer money to the left-wing group bankrolling protests against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Israeli funding documents reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
The documents indicate that, since 2020, Foggy Bottom has sent over $38,000 to the Movement for Quality Government (MQG), theIsraeli nonprofit stoking nationwide anti-Netanyahu protests that have seen protesters clash with police and target Netanyahu’s family members. MQG is seeking to takedown Netanyahu’s government over his support for major reforms to the Israeli supreme court that would significantly limit its power. The organization petitioned Israel’s Supreme Court earlier this year to oust Netanyahu, claiming he is unfit for office due to ongoing investigations into allegations of political corruption and bribery.
The State Department, which confirmed the funding, calls the group a nonpartisan organization, but its work opposing Netanyahu raises questions about how the group was able to obtain U.S. funding. The United States typically avoids funding foreign partisan groups to avoid claims of political meddling. Even before MQG emerged as the leading force behind the current wave of anti-Netanyahu protests, it made a name for itself as a leading critic of the Israeli right, which has long seen Netanyahu as its leader. Given the Biden administration’s chilly diplomatic relationship with Netanyahu—which includes repeated criticism of Israeli settlement construction and the decision to launch an unprecedented FBI probe into Israel’s anti-terrorism operations—the U.S. funding to MQG has come under new scrutiny.
“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. “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.”