March 4, 2023


120 US Jewish leaders: Smotrich 'should not be given a platform in our community': Calls against welcoming minister slated to address Israel Bonds confab next week in DC expand to include more mainstream and prominent voices, including former ADL and AIPAC chiefs (JACOB MAGID, 3/04/23, Times of Israel)

The Religious Zionism chair was already a controversial figure both at home and abroad for his long history of remarks against the LGBTQ community, Arabs, Palestinians and non-Orthodox Jews.

While boycotting a sitting Israeli minister might not have been a step characteristic for mainstream Jewish groups in the US to take, it appears to have been normalized after Smotrich said Wednesday that "the village of Huwara needs to be wiped out" and that "the State of Israel should do it."

Those comments came amid an outpouring of shock and horror in Israel and abroad after one Palestinian was killed, hundreds were injured, dozens of buildings and dozens of vehicles were by hundreds of settlers who ransacked the Palestinian town of Huwara where two Israeli brothers were shot dead in a terror attack hours earlier.

"As American Jews committed to Israel's future as a secure, Jewish, and democratic state; to a robust U.S.-Israel relationship; and to Jewish peoplehood that fully encompasses Israeli and Diaspora Jewish communities, we are opposed to Bezalel Smotrich visiting the United States later this month in his capacity as Israel's finance minister, and we call on all pro-Israel Americans to understand that welcoming Smotrich here will harm, rather than help, support for Israel," the 120 Jewish leaders said in the Friday statement organized by the center-left Israel Policy Forum.

"Smotrich has long expressed views that are abhorrent to the vast majority of American Jews, from anti-Arab racism, to virulent homophobia, to a full-throated embrace of Jewish supremacy. To this list, we can now add his endorsement of violence against innocents based on their ethnic heritage," they continued.

Posted by at March 4, 2023 8:13 AM