The US is unlikely to work with a Jewish supremacy expected to appoint an Israeli minister

The US is unlikely to work with a Jewish supremacy expected to appoint an Israeli minister

The US is unlikely to work with a Jewish supremacy expected to appoint an Israeli minister

Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of the Jewish State Party of Israel, speaks in Jerusalem on October 30.  Photo by Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of the Jewish State Party of Israel, speaks in Jerusalem on October 30. Photo by Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images.

The Biden administration is unlikely to communicate with top Jewish politician Itamar Ben-Gvir, who is expected to be a senior minister in the future Israeli government formed by the Israeli government. Benjamin NetanyahuTwo US officials told Axios.

Why is it important? An official decision has not yet been made, but if the Biden administration boycotts Ben-Gvir, it will be an unprecedented development that will likely have negative consequences for US-Israel relations.

  • Israel’s far-right parties scored an unprecedented victory in Tuesday’s election, with the Jewish-dominated Religious Zionist list set to win 14 seats, the most seats for the radical right in Israel’s history.

Driving news. Ben-Gvir, who was convicted in 2007 of supporting a terrorist organization and inciting racism, has said he wants to be minister of internal security, a position that would put him in charge of the Israeli police and policies surrounding Jerusalem’s holy sites, including authorities. Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

  • His political counterpart, Bezalel Smotrich, has said he wants to be defense minister, a role that also oversees Israeli policy in the occupied West Bank and Gaza and approves settlement building. Smotrich has a history of making racist expressions About the Arab citizens of Israel.
  • Since Netanyahu will have to rely on two far-right politicians to pass laws to stop his corruption trial, they will have great leverage to get the positions and policies they want.

Behind the scenes. US Secretary of State Tony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan hinted at the possibility of not working with Ben-Gvir and other right-wing extremists during a meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog last week.

  • U.S. and Israeli officials told Axios Blinken and Sullivan said that while the Biden administration would work with any elected Israeli government, it may have problems working with specific politicians, but did not name them.
  • The Biden administration is primarily concerned about Ben-Gvir and his party’s racist rhetoric and stances against Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and Israel’s Arab minority, the two U.S. officials said.
  • U.S. officials told Axios that there is no formal policy decision yet on Ben-Gvir, but the administration’s thinking in recent weeks was that they would not work with him. It is unclear whether the administration is considering the same decision regarding Smotrich or other members of their parties.

What do they say? “We are pleased to see such strong voter turnout in the Knesset elections,” said a White House national security spokesman.

  • “It is still too early to make assumptions about the exact composition of the next government coalition until all the votes have been counted,” added the spokesperson. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Israeli government on our shared interests and values.”



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