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Progressive rabbi calls out mainstream US Jewish groups’ silence on Ben Gvir’s rise

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

Head of the Otzma Yehudit party Itamar Ben Gvir speaks to supporters at the party's campaign headquarters in Jerusalem after the November 1, 2022 elections. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Head of the Otzma Yehudit party Itamar Ben Gvir speaks to supporters at the party's campaign headquarters in Jerusalem after the November 1, 2022 elections. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A prominent progressive rabbi in the US takes mainstream American Jewish groups to task for failing to speak out amid the rise of far-right Religious Zionism MK Itamar Ben Gvir.

Jill Jacobs, who heads the T’ruah rights organization for Jewish clergy members in North America, says in a statement that “there has been a remarkable lack of public concern among American Jewish organizations about Ben-Gvir’s Religious Zionist slate, which traffics in racism and homophobia, advocates for the deportation of Palestinian citizens of Israel, and incites violence against Palestinians and Israeli leftists.

“Jewish organizations have a moral obligation to stand together against Ben-Gvir and his party and loudly declare that they do not represent Jewish interests.

“Although we do not yet know the final tallies and what coalitions will be built to create Israel’s next government, we must call out the dangers of a Kahanist majority so that all know they represent the incitement of violence on Palestinians and Israeli leftists,” Jacobs adds.

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