Israel’s Meddling in US Politics Is Aggressive and Unceasing

For all the periodic meltdowns about foreign interference in US elections and politics by countries like Russia, it’s actually Israel, a nominal ally, that has done far more meddling in American politics — with far more influence.

For the past week, the United States and Israel have been embroiled in a nasty public spat, with one country accusing the other of meddling in its internal politics. The joke is that Israel is the one doing the accusing.

The brawl kicked off after a headline-grabbing speech from Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer last Thursday, charging that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “lost his way” and calling for “a new election” in the country. Schumer’s intervention followed a drip feed of reports suggesting that the Joe Biden administration hoped to nudge Netanyahu out of power in Israel. Naturally, the Netanyahu government wasn’t pleased, with the prime minister complaining to CNN that it was “inappropriate to go to a sister democracy and try to replace the elected leadership there. . . . We’re not a banana republic.”

“Israel is a sovereign country,” Tal Heinrich, Netanyahu’s spokesperson, told Newsmax. “We don’t intervene in American politics, and we expect to be treated with the same respect.”

But Israel is being treated with the same respect it treats the United States. For decades, intervening in the domestic politics of the United States and working to replace its elected leadership has been the Israeli government’s bread and butter.

The fact is that Israeli political meddling in the United States has gone from an open secret in Washington to more-or-less public knowledge nationwide under Netanyahu’s leadership — something complained about by media commentators, US officials, intelligence officers, and prominent Jewish public figures. More and more, this political interference is not so much linked back to the Israeli government as a whole but to its most right-wing factions. And its scale, frequency, and power far outdo the meddling of any other foreign power, making Israel, in practice, closer to an adversarial state than a friendly one.


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