US rabbis warn of ‘irreparable harm’ from new Israeli government  

Benjamin Netanyahu
FILE – Benjamin Netanyahu, former Israeli Prime Minister and the head of Likud party, speaks to his supporters after first exit poll results for the Israeli Parliamentary election at his party’s headquarters in Jerusalem on Nov. 2, 2022. Netanyahu announced late Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, that he has successfully formed a new coalition, setting the stage for him to return to power as head of the most right-wing Israeli government ever. (AP Photo/Oren Ziv, File)

More than 300 U.S. rabbis have put their signatures to a letter warning that Israel’s new government under incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could do “irreparable harm” with extremist policies.  

The letter cautions against policy proposals from extreme Jewish nationalist members set to join Netanyahu’s Cabinet and government, calling them “anathema to the tenets of democracy.”

If implemented, the policies “will cause irreparable harm to the Israel-Jewish Diaspora relationship, as they are an affront to the vast majority of American Jews and our values,” the letter reads.  

The rabbis argue the policies could erode women’s rights, expel Arab Israelis and override Israeli Supreme Court rulings, among other actions they say could run counter to the country’s values.  

Netanyahu is set to return to power as Israel’s prime minister for the third time after pulling together a far-right governing coalition, called the most extreme administration in the country’s history.

The rabbis further pledge in their open letter to protest the hard-right administration by blocking members of the Religious Zionist Party from participating in their congregations and organizations, and call on other clergy members to do the same.

“When those who tout racism and bigotry claim to speak in the name of Israel, but deny our rights, our heritage, and the rights of the most vulnerable among us, we must take action. We must speak out,” the rabbis wrote.  

Tags Benjamin Netanyahu Benjamin Netanyahu Israel Israeli Supreme Court rabbis

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