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US: We hope all Israeli officials will uphold our shared democratic values

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

From left to right: Otzma Yehudit leader MK Itamar Ben Gvir, opposition leader and Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, and Religious Zionism head MK Bezalel Smotrich. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
From left to right: Otzma Yehudit leader MK Itamar Ben Gvir, opposition leader and Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, and Religious Zionism head MK Bezalel Smotrich. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

US State Department spokesman Ned Price expresses hope that Israeli officials will continue to uphold the shared democratic values of the two countries.

Price’s statement appears to be a response to the rise of the far-right Religious Zionism party, which is expected to play a central role in the formation of the new government following yesterday’s election.

Price is pressed to elaborate on the US position regarding the results of the Israeli election during today’s press briefing.

He first reiterates the statement released earlier today by US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, who said it is still too early to draw any conclusions regarding the composition of the next government, but added that he looks forward to working with whoever is in power to advance the shared values and interests of the US and Israel.

Elaborating further on that answer after being pressed, Price says that “what makes this relationship so strong — and what has made it so strong since Israel’s independence to the present day — is that this is a relationship that has always been based on our shared interests, but importantly our shared values.

“We hope that all Israeli government officials will continue to share the values of an open, democratic society, including tolerance and respect for all in civil society, particularly for minority groups,” Price adds.

“We have certain interests and values of our [own]. You’ve heard us speak to the commitment we have to a future two-state solution and to equal measures of security, freedom, justice and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians alike,” he says.

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