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Diaspora minister urges ‘long-term fix’ for Israel’s ties with Democrats

Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai arrives at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on June 14, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai arrives at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on June 14, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai calls for a “long-term fix” in Israel’s ties with the Democratic Party, after $1 billion in funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system was pulled from a US government funding bill due to opposition from progressive House members.

“Long-term developments in the US are changing the Democratic Party and strengthening the progressive and anti-Israel axis,” Shai says in an interview with the Kan public broadcaster.

He hits out at former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, noting his opposition to the 2015 nuclear deal signed by Democratic president Barack Obama, charging that the ex-premier “clearly went in the Republican direction.”

Shai adds: “We need to invest in a long-term fix of Israel’s ties with the Democratic Party. A giant gap was created between the Jewish community in the US and Israel… The Biden administration is friendly toward Israel. I’m worried about the distant future.”

The minister, a member of the Labor party, says in a separate interview with Army Radio that Israel cannot “close its eyes” to changes taking place in the US.

“Most of the Democratic party support Israel but an extremist group is getting stronger,” Shai says.

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