Algemeiner: US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides on Wednesday said it was too early to speculate about the composition of Israel’s next governing coalition, as votes from Tuesday’s election continue to be counted. With 86% of the vote tallied, Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc is on track to win 65 seats, opening the door for his return to the premiership with a solid majority in the 120-seat Knesset. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Israeli government on our shared values,” Nides said.
State Department Spokesman Ned Price reiterated that it was too early to discuss a government that had not yet been formed, but said that the administration hopes that all Israeli officials will share common values with the US, including respect for minority rights.
Of particular focus for US-Israel relations is the success of Itamar Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit party’s joint slate with Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism Party, which is set to be the third largest party in the Knesset with about 14 seats and likely to be a major constituent of the incoming coalition government.
“The Biden administration doesn’t have a good history of relations with Netanyahu, and if he takes on these far-right extremists into his government and into his cabinet, then I think we’re in for a rocky road,” former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk told Israel’s Channel 12.
“The Israeli elections pose a serious challenge to the Biden administration: What to do with an ally government that will include senior members who are clearly beyond the pale,” Natan Sachs, Director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institute told The Algemeiner.
“Itamar Ben Gvir and his party members represent a brand of politics so odious and contrary to American values that the administration will have to address it. American administrations in the past have managed to separate their engagement with some foreign governments and their constituent parts — in Austria, and even in Lebanon — and they will likely need to find a similar formula with the next Israeli government.”
That concern was echoed by some American Jewish groups. Read More …
Opinion: Being forced to deal with Netanyahu will be difficult enough for the progressive left (pro-Palestinian) Biden foreign policy team. If/when they have to deal with Itamar Ben-Gvir, they will go bonkers.
They call him the ‘R’ word …
- Ben Gvir is accused of being against former Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin’s decision to shake hands with Yasser Arafat, one of the most dangerous Jew killers of the 20th century, on the failed Oslo Accords to divide God’s land in violation of Joel 3:2.
- Ben Gvir is accused of being against Jews marrying Arabs.
- Ben Gvir is accused of calling for the expulsion of Palestinians from Israel.
- Ben Gvir supports Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount
In other words, Ben Gvir had the audacity to echo Moses and Ezra:
In Deuteronomy 7:1-4 Moses warned the Jews when they came into the Promised Land to “conquer and utterly destroy the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.”
“You shall make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.”
Ezra: Ezra 9:2-4 records that the returning Jews (From Babylon) indeed married into the pagan tribes: “For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, so that the holy seed is mixed with the peoples of those lands. Indeed, the hand of the leaders and rulers has been foremost in this trespass. So when I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my robe, and plucked out some of the hair of my head and beard, and sat down astonished. 4 Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel assembled to me, because of the transgression of those who had been carried away captive, and I sat astonished until the evening sacrifice.”
The simple answer is that God always provides a protector for His people ‘for such a time as this’ (Esther 4:14).
(Excerpts are repeated from recent posts)