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Israeli politicians rely on American donors

As Israel heads toward early Knesset elections in January, NPR reports on how Israeli politicians rely for campaign funds on American donors.

Quite a difference from the US, where campaign donations from foreigners are strictly illegal.

[A state comptroller's report] says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised more than 90 percent of his campaign money in the United States. Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon, also from Netanyahu’s conservative Likud bloc, raised 100 percent of his campaign contributions overseas — mostly in the U.S.

Shelly Yachimovich, leader of the liberal Labor Party, was one of the few politicians to raise all of her money in Israel. Political analysts say she made a point of doing so to prove her domestic credentials.

I suppose this makes Yachimovich– who unfortunately doesn’t stand much of a chance against Netanyahu– what some Israelis would call a freier. But as someone who was probably more of a freier than most Israelis when I lived there, and wasn’t really bothered by it, I say, “Good for her.”