Democratic Majority for Israel Board Co-Chairs Ann Lewis and Todd Richman issued the following statement on Tuesday’s Israeli elections:
“We are filled with respect and admiration for Israel’s robust democracy — yesterday’s election brings to the Knesset once again parties ranging from the far left to the far right, including an Arab party associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and another Arab party that opposes Israel’s right to exist. At the same time, we cannot help but be deeply troubled by the fact that an anti-democratic and extremist party led by Kahanist Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich will gain a larger foothold in the Knesset. While this party only represents about 10% of Israeli voters, it may wield outsize political influence as former Prime Minister Netanyahu can only put together a governing coalition with its support.
“DMFI has repeatedly reiterated our belief that this party should have no place in Israel’s governing coalition. Most Israelis find their views abhorrent as they conflict with the country’s founding principles and the shared values that undergird the U.S.-Israel relationship.
“Just as the U.S.-Israel relationship remains strong despite antisemites, racists, insurrectionists, conspiracy theorists, and authoritarians in the U.S. Congress, so too will the relationship survive having Kahanists in the Knesset — despite our strong objection to their presence.
“We’re heartened that the Biden administration has echoed this sentiment by making clear that the enduring U.S.-Israel relationship will transcend whatever government is in power at any particular time. As State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said, ‘No matter the shape of the Israeli coalition and government, our relationship will be strong and enduring.’”