The Coalition for Jewish Values, representing over 1000 traditional rabbis in matters of public policy, today rejected the intervention of American Jewish organizations in Israel’s political parties for the upcoming Knesset elections. Both the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) condemned the views of the far-right Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party as “reprehensible” and “racist,” after PM Benjamin Netanyahu apparently brokered an alliance between that faction and the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party for the upcoming vote.

“Rav Kahane was murdered almost 30 years ago,” said Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Eastern Regional VP of the CJV, “and still the Jewish establishment responds in Pavlovian, hysterical fashion to any mention of his name. Whatever one may think of the politics of Otzma Yehudit, its positions are moderate in comparison to the statements, positions, and outright support for terrorism of several Arab Knesset members. It is utterly unfair to deny a hearing to Otzma Yehudit voters on the appropriate response to that hatred.”

The CJV highlighted the records of several Arab Israelis who currently or recently served in the Knesset. Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint Arab List, both supported violence against Israelis and followed the age-old tactic of blaming Jews (“the occupation”) for being murdered. MK Haneen Zoabi similarly blamed the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teens on the occupation, and participated in the infamous Gaza “flotilla,” a PR stunt designed to resume shipping of heavy weaponry to the Hamas terror organization. And Basel Ghattas, who served in the Knesset until 2017, smuggled cell phones and delivered coded messages to jailed Hamas terrorists, to permit them to continue coordinating terrorism while behind bars.

“Our consistent view is that American Jews should not be telling Israelis how to run their country,” concluded Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Managing Director of the CJV. “In this case, the intervention of the AJC and AIPAC is both startling and deeply troubling. Considering the support for terrorism shown by multiple Arab MKs, to uniquely criticize Otzma Yehudit seems to reflect a double standard against Jews rather than a sincere desire for the elimination of hatred and bigotry on all sides.”

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