Pro-Israel Senator Robert Menendez warns Netanyahu against partnering with far-right extremists

Published date04 October 2022
Publication titleJerusalem Post, The: Web Edition Articles (Israel)
Menendez raised what he said were "concerns" about Itamar Ben-Gvir with the former — and hopeful — Israeli prime minister during a visit to Israel in early September, Axios reported on Sunday. At the time, Netanyahu had just hosted Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, another right-wing party leader, at his Caesarea home

The visit was part of Netanyahu's effort to work with Ben-Gvir, an adherent of the racist beliefs of the late rabbi and politician, Meir Kahane, to unite far-right parties into a single bloc so they can maximize their clout in Israel's Nov. 1 election. Ben-Gvir, who has also lionized Baruch Goldstein, the Jewish extremist who massacred 29 Palestinians at worship in 1994, would likely secure a cabinet position in a Netanyahu-led government.

According to the Axios report, Netanyahu was peeved at Menendez's statement, but the senator pressed the matter further, saying Ben-Gvir's inclusion would seriously erode bipartisan support for Israel.

Major pro-Israel groups made a similar warning three years ago when Netanyahu, then the prime minister, was...

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