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Friday, October 19, 2012

Dems refuse to speak to iVoteIsrael events, then claim it's a Republican organization

After refusing repeated requests to send representatives to speak to iVoteIsrael.com, the organization getting out the American vote in Israel for the US Presidential elections, the Democratic party is now accusing the organization of being a Republican front backed by 'Netanyahu ally' Ronald Lauder. It goes without saying that the charges have been denied. I attended one of their events, and have been in touch with them a lot, and they were very careful not to be partisan.
The Ronald Lauder Foundation’s offices in Israel and New York did not answer queries as to their involvement in iVoteIsrael.
Meanwhile, iVoteIsrael is pushing back against allegations that they are a Republican organization, in violation of its 501(c)(4) status under the US tax code, releasing emails to The Jerusalem Post showing that they were rebuffed in attempts to bring Democrats to Israel on a speaking tour.
As a 501(c)(4) organization, iVoteIsrael is not required to disclose donors, should promote social welfare, and may not engage in political activities.
An investigation by the Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group, a Washington-based organization that seeks to “make government transparent and accountable,” found that iVoteIsrael has strong ties with Lauder based on several assertions.
iVoteIsrael is a project of an organization called Americans for Jerusalem. According to the Sunshine Foundation, Americans for Jerusalem is the same organization as One Jerusalem, a contention the Post has been unable to confirm.
Allen Roth, an adviser to Lauder since the late 1980s, is listed on One Jerusalem’s tax filings as principal officer, and the address and suite number on those tax filings is the same as the Ronald Lauder Foundation’s offices in New York.


According to the iVoteIsrael director, of the over 50,000 American citizens the organization has registered, there are tens of thousands of Democrats.
Pieprz pointed to iVoteIsrael debates, co-sponsored by the Post, which gave representatives of the Republican and Democratic Parties equal time to express their views.
Although only the Republican Jewish Council and not the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) toured Israel with iVoteIsrael, Pieprz said his organization did not pay for the RJC visit.
He also said iVoteIsrael made a concerted effort to bring Democrat Congressmen to Israel, such as Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-New York) or Rep. Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts), a fact that NJDC President and CEO David Harris denied in an interview.
In an email correspondence obtained by the Post, which begins on July 5 and ends July 23, Pieprz asked NJDC CEO David Harris if it would be possible for US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to address voters during her visit to Israel, and was rebuffed.
Harris wrote to Pieprz that “while I still don’t think [the NJDC] can swing it, were are seriously considering the possibility of trying to find a window in August when my chair and I could come over for at least a few days with a prominent member of Congress in tow, or something like that to be able to speak, talk to press on the ground, etc.”
“I’m not begrudging the NJDC. They make their own decisions,” Pieprz said on Thursday, “but they’re doing Americans in Israel a disservice by not having the same level of engagement as the RJC.”
I suspect what's really happening is that there are an awful lot of registered Democrats in Israel who are voting Romney. What a shock.

I know of at least one person in iVoteIsrael who has strong ties to the Democrats. I won't say more than that.

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