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Israel: guaranteed US election winner

January 28, 2014 at 6:58 am

THE results of US elections are eccentric. While re-electing Barack Obama to the White House, voters also chose members of the opposing party as their representatives in Congress.

Pundits refer to this as division of powers at its best.

Today, next to President Barack Obama, Abigael Evans – the four-year-old from Fort Collins Colorado – must be the second happiest person that the presidential election is finally over.

Last week, Abigael became an instantaneous American celebrity after her mum posted on a tearful, 22-second clip of her on YouTube declaring: “I am tired of Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney.” As of yesterday her video had received more than 13 million hits.

She was not alone.

Living in a swing state, the little girl was among those who bore the brunt of an estimated one million presidential election advertisements.

For anyone who has lived through a US election the immediate relief is not the outcome, but the end of an incessant bombardment of primetime commercials advising people who not to vote for, rather than who they should.

In this election cycle, presidential candidates and Super Political Action Committees (Super PACs) broke a new record – raising and spending more than $2 billion.

US election laws do not allow citizens to contribute more than $2,500 to a candidate in an election year.

However, Super PACs were permitted in a 2010 Supreme Court ruling to raise money from undeclared individuals or corporations and spend unlimited cash during an election cycle.

This has more significance in this election as Obama could potentially fill more than half of the seats on the US Supreme Court.

Last month alone, Super PACs supporting both political parties invested more than $526 million in the US election.

The main Republican-inclined Super PACs were Mitt Romney’s Restore Our Future, American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS. An important financier for Romney’s Super-PAC was casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.

Adelson, who brags of being “the richest Jew in the world”, was cited by the British Guardian newspaper on November 1 as saying that supporting the hawkish current Israeli Prime Minister was a “necessary bulwark” to peace talks and Palestinian statehood, “a prospect he abhors”.

On the Democratic side, the pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA Action was funded, among others, by Hollywood tycoons like Haim Saban of Saban Entertainment and DreamWorks founders Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Saban, according to The New York Times on April 9, 2009, threatened to withhold campaign contributions to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi if Israeli firster Jane Harman was not appointed to an intelligence post in a Congressional committee.

DreamWorks presented Israeli president Shimon Peres last March with the original piece of artwork from their first animated feature film Prince of Egypt.

Peres in turn, applauded Hollywood’s influence on youth to the point where “children believe the actors more than the politicians”.

The major bankrollers on both sides of the US election share one thing in common – a special affinity to Israel.

This ensures that irrespective of the victor, an Israel-first financier will have special access to the resident of the White House.

The Economist’s special report on October 12 suggested that 80 per cent of the cash that funds Super PACs “comes from fewer than 200 donors”.

Statistically, this means that less than 0.0000007pc of the US population has the largest impact in shaping the outcome of the American election.

Chrystia Freeland, editor of Thomson Reuters Digital, sees status symbol transformation for the super-rich – from conspicuous consumers to influencing public policy.

She warned: “Democracy is supposed to be one person, one vote. But when economic disparity grows and transfers into political disparity, well, you have to ask where it’s going.”

Mr Kanj ( writes a weekly column on Arab issues and is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. This article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.