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Jewish-American Organizations Warn Israel Against Forming Govt Including Far-Right Figures

Jewish-American Organizations Warn Israel Against Forming Govt Including Far-Right Figures

Friday, 14 October, 2022 - 08:45
Far-right MP Itamar Ben Gvir delivers a speech at an election rally in a settlement in northern Israel on October 6, 2022. (AP)

Several Jewish-American organizations have warned that they may cut ties and the generous support they provide Israel if it brings its far right into a governing coalition, including MP Itamar Ben Gvir, as Tel Aviv prepares to hold elections in November.

According to three reports published in Tel Aviv on Thursday, the organizations issued severe warnings, citing real possible harm to US-Israeli relations.

Their representatives told Israeli officials that the two countries’ leaderships usually boast of shared values, questioning whether racism is part of these common values.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, the largest Jewish movement in North America, said if opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu wins the election and Ben Gvir earns a senior cabinet post, it “will be a horrific statement to the world about what Israel is prepared to project as its image” and “disastrous to the deep relationship between Israel and the United States.”

“We talk about shared values? If the shared values become racism – I dread that day, and I pray that that day will not come,” Haaretz quoted him as saying.

The Democratic Majority for Israel organization issued a statement warning against the damage this scenario would cause, saying it “conflicts with the country’s founding principles and the shared values that undergird the US-Israel relationship.”

The Israel Policy Forum and the Anti-Defamation League echoed the concerns.

Rep. Brad Sherman, a California Democrat and pillar of support for Israel in the House of Representatives, said those who love Israel are worried about it the most, especially from the “partisan developments and the deterioration of a situation in which people line Ben Gvir are part of the government.”

He warned leaders in the Democratic Party not only of Ben Gvir, but also of Netanyahu, stressing that “he is trying to adopt former President Donald Trump’s approach in Israel.”

Earlier this month, Robert Menendez, chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, warned Netanyahu that including far-right lawmakers, such us Ben Gvir, in a potential future government would harm ties with Washington.

He pressed the matter further by saying that Ben Gvir’s inclusion would seriously erode bipartisan support for Israel.

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