The American Friends of Likud, a group that backs the Israeli ruling party, weighs in on American Jewish criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for engineering a merger between right-wing factions that will likely enable the extremist Otzma Yehudit party to enter the Knesset.
The group was “disappointed by the overt interference into (sic) the elections in Israel by certain leaders of American Jewish organizations,” it says, calling the criticism by organizations like AJC and AIPAC “insulting and obtrusive.”
The criticism sends an “unmistakable message to the Israeli public,” it charges, “that these American Jewish leaders are casting their uninvited votes in the election against the Likud, the Prime Minister’s party, and that Israeli voters should vote the same way.”
It urges US Jewish leaders to “refrain from interfering in Israel’s elections. There will be a time for legitimate criticism of positions or statements of Israeli politicians once the democratic electoral process in Israel has been completed.”
It notes that Israel’s Central Elections Committee has in the past ruled parties “illegitimate on the basis of racism, terrorism or other reasons.”
One of those parties was Kach, the party of extremist rabbi Meir Kahane, the mentor and inspiration for Otzma Yehudit’s leadership.