AIPAC, ADL, JFNA, AJC won’t meet Smotrich during DC visit

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Finance Minister and head of the Religious Zionist party Bezalel Smotrich leads a faction meeting in the West Bank settlement of Givat Harel, February 14, 2023. (Sraya Diamant/Flash90)
Finance Minister and head of the Religious Zionist party Bezalel Smotrich leads a faction meeting in the West Bank settlement of Givat Harel, February 14, 2023. (Sraya Diamant/Flash90)

WASHINGTON — Several of the most prominent Jewish organizations in the US will not be meeting with Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who arrived earlier today for a three day trip in Washington and New York.

Spokespeople for the Conference of Presidents, the Jewish Federations of North America, the American Jewish Committee, AIPAC, and the ADL tell The Times of Israel that they have no plans to meet with Smotrich this week.

These groups refrained from joining 73 more progressive organizations who signed onto a petition against hosting Smotrich, but they have each quietly made the decision not to meet with the far right minister who called earlier this month to wipe out the Palestinian town of Huwara, where two Israelis were shot dead in a terror attack and hundreds of settlers carried out a deadly rampage hours later. Smotrich has since apologized for the remark.

The Orthodox Union and the right-wing Zionist Organization of America are the only two organizations that have publicly confirmed that they will be meeting with Smotrich, who landed in Washington this morning.

The minister will be the keynote speaker at the Israel Bonds conference gala dinner this evening. Hundreds of American Jews are expected to protest outside the hotel where the conference is being held.

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