Billionaire Backing anti-Netanyahu NGO V15 Wishes Labor Leader Were 'Stronger'

Jewish-American businessman S. Daniel Abraham also calls on Netanyahu to cancel Congress speech on March 3.

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Labor leader Isaac Herzog speaks at Kibbutzim College in Tel Aviv, February 1, 2015.
Labor leader Isaac Herzog speaks at Kibbutzim College in Tel Aviv, February 1, 2015.Credit: Ofer Vaknin

Jewish-American businessman S. Daniel Abraham, a supporter of the grass-roots group V15, says he does not support any particular candidate for prime minister. He also spoke in praise of Zionist Camp coleader Isaac Herzog, but admitted he wished he was a little "stronger" in his speeches.

Speaking on Channel 2’s Friday night news show, Abraham said he does not know how much money he had given to the group (which stands for Victory 15 and has been accused of illegally campaigning against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu), “but I give them my heart, I give my heart to Israel [and] the Jewish people.”

Of MK Herzog, Abraham said, “I love Isaac Herzog. I think he is a great man and a great Israeli patriot,” but added, “I wish he was a little stronger in what he says.

“I support the Jewish people with everything I have,” Abraham added, “because I want Israel to remain Jewish, democratic, proud and independent, and not half-Jewish and half-Arab,” adding, “I have been supporting Israel and the causes of Israel all of my life ... I am helping Israel obtain the best prime minister that Israel can have.”

The 90-year-old billionaire, who said there is no connection between Zionist Camp and V15, added that his contributions were within the law, and that “if the lawyer tells me it’s a kosher organization and it does things the proper way, I will support them.”

Abraham sharply criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech before Congress on March 3, and said he thought Netanyahu should cancel. The speech, he said, “is receiving a lot of very negative opinions and press, and it’s causing a disturbance in the good relations between America and Israel. The American president and prime minister of Israel should never be on opposite sides of any argument.”

Meanwhile, early last week, the New Israel Fund demanded that Likud retract a claim that the nonprofit was involved in funding the V15 campaign. In a letter to Likud legal adviser Avi Halevi, Nir Hefetz (the head of Likud’s PR campaign) and attorney David Shimron – who linked V15 with the New Israel Fund at a press conference – the NIF said it was categorically not funding V15 either directly or indirectly, calling claims to the contrary “lies.”

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