Eli Chomsky was an editor for the paper and recorded the meeting. The tape, which until now has only been heard by the Jewish Press staffers in the room, included a discussion about the January 25, 2006, election for the second Palestinian Legislative Council (the legislature of the Palestinian National Authority).
Clinton weighed in about the result, which was a resounding victory for Hamas (74 seats) over the U.S.-preferred Fatah (45 seats), “I do not think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake. And if we were going to push for an election, then we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win.”
Chomsky recalls that eyebrows were raised at the idea that “anyone could support the idea—offered by a national political leader, no less—that the U.S. should be in the business of fixing foreign elections.”
It turns out that this is no arbitrary idea. In June of this year, a congressional investigation concluded that the State Department paid an Israeli group to build a campaign to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in last year’s Israeli parliamentary elections. Some $350,000 was sent to “peace” organization OneVoice, who used the money to build a voter database, train activists and hire a political consulting firm with ties to President Obama’s campaign to construct an anti-Netanyahu campaign.