A day after Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu orchestrated the return of the supporters of the racist rabbi Meir Kahane to the Israeli Knesset, the American Jewish Committee, a major establishment Jewish organization, condemned the maneuver.
“The views of Otzma Yehudit are reprehensible,” the AJC said in a statement, tweeted at the end of the business day on Thursday. “They do not reflect the core values that are the very foundation of the State of Israel. The party might conceivably gain enough votes to enter the next Knesset, and potentially even become part of the governing coalition.”
On Wednesday, the AJC was one of a number of mainstream American Jewish groups that did not respond to the Forward’s request for comment on the merger of the Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit with the national religious party Jewish Home, likely guaranteeing the Kahanists a presence in the Knesset.
Among those that did condemn the party merger on Wednesday were the Anti-Defamation League and the Union for Reform Judaism.
In its statement, the AJC said that it “does not normally comment on political parties and candidates during an election,” but felt “compelled to speak out.”
This story "Netanyahu Merger With Racists Prompts AJC Response" was written by Josh Nathan-Kazis.