How would you feel, if... UPDate
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels October 13, 2012 - 11:49am
...you were an Israeli and found out that 53 percent of the campaign contributions to your political leaders came from foreigners. Such contributions are illegal in the United States, but not in Israel. Still, wouldn't you wonder how much influence outsiders have on the policies of your country, or whether foreigners favor politicians who align with their views but not yours?Haaretz reports the breakdown of these contributions among Israeli politicians: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised 96.8 percent of his NIS 1.2 million in campaign contributions from foreign donors...." Netanyahu came in second beaten out by the minister for strategic affairs who raised 100 percent of his campaign contributions from abroad. The 550 foreign donors, largely Americans, contribute five-and-a-half times more than Israelis themselves.Could an Israeli write this off as a form of foreign investment? Or would she be deeply troubled by the implications for Israeli domestic and foreign policies. Mondoweiss points out that one of Netanyhu's biggest American donors also supports settler projects in the West Bank.UPDATE: Here is a short youtube video on Foreign Monday and U.S. Elections pointing out how Citizens United has made way for foreign money in U.S. elections.
About the Author
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.