More than 90 per cent of the recent campaign contributions collected by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came from the US, The Independent quoted official records as showing on Friday.
In previous campaigns, around half of his campaign funding has come from just three American families.
Netanyahu last week easily won his Likud Party’s election to select a prime ministerial candidate – easily overcoming his nearest challenger, former deputy defence minister Danny Danon. The 65-year-old Netanyahu is now gearing up for the general election, due to be held on March 17.
Records from Israel’s State Comptroller Office and collated by Buzzfeed.com show that Netanyahu raised around 1m shekels (roughly £166,000), for his primary campaign. Around 90 per cent of this came from the US.
Public records show this fits with previous elections campaigns. In the past, almost half of his funding has come from three American families – the Falic family of Florida which owns the Duty Free Americas airport shops, the Schottenstein family, owners of the American Eagle Outfitters fashion chain, and the Book family of New Jersey, owners of Jet Support Systems.
Reports say US money to the campaign of the thrice-elected Netanyahu is channelled via the American Friends of Likud group. The group, which has its headquarters in New York, failed to respond to inquiries, as did the main offices of Netanyahu’s Likud Party in Israel.
The data shows that the members of the Falic family of Florida have been among the most consistent donors to Netanyahu’s campaign. Four members of that family were his top contributors, with each giving close to the maximum of $11,500 per donor. Closely following them were the Book family of New Jersey, with four members each contributing $11,000. Four members of the Schottenstein gave $10,000 each.
The three families failed to respond to inquiries made on Thursday.