A top Obama aide from his 2012 election campaign is now working to defeat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his upcoming March election, the Daily Caller reported.
According to the report, Jeremy Bird, who served as the national field director for the president’s re-election campaign, is working with an Israel-based group called V15. The group is notoriously anti-Netanyahu and backed by the leftist One Voice organization.
The move by a top Obama aide actively working to defeat Israel’s prime minister signals a major shift in US-Israel relations. As the report asserts, “There’s little or no chance that Bird would work against Netanyahu if Obama didn’t want Netanyahu defeated in the March election.”
One Voice and V15 are expected to merge in the coming weeks. Their main goal is to “replace the government” in Israel, Haaretz reported, through similar methods that proved effective for Obama.
Led by Bird, the groups plan on recruiting thousands of volunteers across Israel to canvass homes across the country and encourage them to vote for anyone other than Netanyahu. They hope to knock on some 150,000 to 1 million doors.
It would be in Obama’s best interest should Netanyahu be deposed as prime minister. Netanyahu has voiced his objection to the president’s handling of Iran’s quest to obtain a nuclear weapon.
The prime minister was recently snubbed by Obama for agreeing to address a joint session of Congress on a bill that supports harsher sanctions on Iran. The president refused to meet with Netanyahu when he would be in Washington in March, saying that the invitation was “breaking protocol.”
Ironically, Obama also refuses to meet with Netanyahu because he does not want to be seen influencing Israeli elections, which are to take place two weeks after the prime ministers address.
A senior Obama official warned Netanyahu about what is perceived to be anti-Obama policies. “He spat in our face publicly…Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price,” he threatened.
Bird echoed the comments, taking to Twitter where he suggested that a wealthy Jewish donor, along with the Republican party, are trying to help Netanyahu win the election.
“What do you think Adelson promised GOP in exchange for this insane BiBi House visit? Blatant attempt to bolster Israeli PM before elections,” he wrote.
Netanyahu, who has come under a harsh wave of criticism, defended his decision to speak to Congress. “As Prime Minister of Israel, I am obligated to make every effort in order to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons that would be aimed at the State of Israel. This effort is worldwide and I will go anywhere I am invited in order to enunciate the State of Israel’s position and in order to defend its future and its existence,” he said on Sunday.