Washington, D.C. | www.adc.org | November 3, 2022 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is deeply troubled by the results of the recent elections in Israel. It should alarm all Americans that the likely next Israeli government will include a large number of politicians known for their racist, anti-Arab rhetoric. These politicians campaigned on a laundry list of disturbing promises, including one to implement the death penalty against those they consider to be “terrorists.”
Among the anticipated ministers in the new government are Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, leaders of the Jewish Power party and advocates of violence against Palestinians. Ben-Gvir was a long-time follower of the extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane. Ben-Gvir was active with the Kach party, which until May 2022 was designated by the United States as a terrorist organization. He was convicted in 2007 for incitement to racism and supporting a terrorist organization.
Ben-Gvir was a close associate of one of the suspects in the 1985 assassination of ADC Regional Director, and civil rights hero, Alex Odeh. The three suspects – Israel Fuchs, Robert Manning and Baruch Ben Yosef – were also devotees to the hateful teachings of Meir Kahane. Kahane called for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and championed political violence. Two of the suspects in the Odeh murder continue to enjoy impunity living freely in the occupied territories, while Manning is in prison in Arizona for a separate fatal bombing.
Recent reports indicate that the State Department may refuse to work with Mr. Ben-Gvir and other right-wing extremists, should they in fact become ministers in the new government. ADC sincerely hopes that the Biden Administration follows through on this. The message should be clear to the incoming Israeli government that it will not engage with Kahanist, or Kahanist-adjacent, extremists.