Statement on recent controversies in Israel over the Otzma Yehudit party

Media Release

 

“While AIJAC does not normally seek to influence Israel’s electoral processes, watching from afar, it is deeply regrettable that recent political manoeuvres in Israel appear likely to bolster the credibility and electoral prospects of Otzma Yehudit, a party comprised of followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.

“Kahane was a divisive and racist figure whose original political party was appropriately disqualified by Israel’s Central Elections Committee. That disqualification was subsequently upheld in Israel’s Supreme Court.

“For decades, AIJAC has consistently condemned and opposed Kahane and his followers – as we do the discriminatory and offensive beliefs now espoused by Otzma Yehudit. These are indeed ‘reprehensible’ – as argued by our partner organisation the American Jewish Committee (AJC) – and inconsistent with the Jewish values and democratic ideals integral to Israel’s political and social character.

“AIJAC hopes and expects that both Israel’s voters and political leaders will overwhelmingly reject the prospect of such abhorrent values being represented in their robust democratic institutions.”