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Biden administration said concerned over potential far-right inclusion in next gov’t

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, left, meets with Israel's President Isaac Herzog in Washington, October 25, 2022. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, left, meets with Israel's President Isaac Herzog in Washington, October 25, 2022. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

Top Biden administration officials expressed concern to President Isaac Herzog during his trip to Washington over the possible inclusion of far-right political figures in Israel’s next government, the Walla news site reports.

Citing Israeli and US sources, the report says both US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan raised the matter in Herzog’s respective meetings with them, though neither specifically mentioned Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich or his electoral partner Itamar Ben Gvir.

The two are running on a joint slate that is allied with opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and a pair of ultra-Orthodox factions, which polls have forecast will fall just short of a majority in the November 1 election.

“There is concern in the administration and it was expressed to Herzog,” US officials told the news site.

The report says Herzog told Blinken and Sullivan not to rush to any conclusions after the publication of exit polls when voting ends Tuesday evening.

“The democrat process needs to be allowed to do its thing,” he was quoted as saying.

Herzog reportedly added: “Every country has a mess in its political system — you are also experiencing this here in the US.”

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