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Pro-Israel Democrat group warns against including Religious Zionism in coalition

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Far-right MKs Itamar Ben Gvir (L) and Bezalel Smotrich at the Damascus Gate outside Jerusalem's Old City on October 20, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Far-right MKs Itamar Ben Gvir (L) and Bezalel Smotrich at the Damascus Gate outside Jerusalem's Old City on October 20, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Democratic Majority for Israel expresses its concern regarding Religious Zionism’s strong showing in yesterday’s election.

“We cannot help but be deeply troubled by the fact that an anti-democratic and extremist party led by Kahanist Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich will gain a larger foothold in the Knesset,” the group says. “While this party only represents about 10% of Israeli voters, it may wield outsize political influence as former prime minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu can only put together a governing coalition with its support.”

“DMFI has repeatedly reiterated our belief that this party should have no place in Israel’s governing coalition,” the group says, while asserting that the US-Israel relationship will “survive having Kahanists in the Knesset.”

It also notes its respect for Israel’s robust democracy, which includes “parties ranging from the far left to the far right.”

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