As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kicked off his re-election campaign on Monday with an extravagant party, details emerged of just where exactly the money for his campaign is coming from.
“Thank you, rich Americans!” Likud Party activist Yonatan Benizri said. “The rest of the parties are still scrambling and Netanyahu has a party.”
Netanyahu, the leader of the Likud Party, reportedly received donations from wealthy American families in all three of his previous campaigns, with the majority coming from families in Florida and California. “It’s nothing new,” Benizri said. “Why get money from Israel when you can get it from the U.S.?”
The incredibly wealthy Falic family, the Florida-based owners of the Duty Free Americas airport stores as well several fashion brands, are among Netanyahu’s top contributors. Four members of the family reportedly each gave Bibi close to $11,500 in campaign support. $11,500 is the maximum amount that Israeli politicians can accept per donor.
Other notable donors included the Schottenstein family, owners of the American Eagle clothing brand.
“He doesn’t even have to ask and they give,” a campaign adviser said. “Their pocketbooks are always open for Netanyahu.”
The guaranteed donations, according to the adviser, frees up the Prime Minister’s schedule and makes it so that he doesn’t have to organize events to collect donations.
“There is a well-established network in the U.S. through the group American Friends of the Likud, which is connected to people who care about Israel and its future.”