US Jews warn that racist, extremist views of new Israeli government could harm support

US Jews warn that racist, extremist views of new Israeli government could harm support
In a meeting earlier this month, US Jewish leaders warned Israeli officials that their country could lose support among American Jews due to their incoming right-wing government.
2 min read
Washington, D.C.
29 December, 2022
Some believe US Jewish support for Israel could be affected by the country's incoming right-wing government. [Getty]

US Jews warn that racist, extremist views of new Israeli government could harm support

US Jews warns Israel could lose US Jewish supporters

At a meeting between US Jewish leaders and Israeli officials in Washington earlier this month, the Americans warned that extremist and bigoted policies could adversely affect US Jewish support for Israel, according to a recent report by Axios.

The new right-wing Israeli government has been raising concerns among Jews in the US and around the world over its stated policies toward Palestinians, Jewish immigrants to Israel, women, LGBTQ+, and democracy in general.

The US attendees were invited to meet with Shuli Davidovich, the head of the Israeli Foreign Ministry bureau for the diaspora, who were asked for their thoughts on the situation in Israel, an anonymous source told Axios. They further noted that the atmosphere at the meeting was tense.

One key concern raised by the US Jewish leaders at the meeting was the new Israeli government's potential plans to restrict immigration for Jewish and non-Jewish (though typically with some Jewish family background) based on limited familial ties. 

The Axios report noted that incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said in an interview with Meet the Press earlier this month that he would not allow Israel's Jewish immigration laws to be changed. He has, however, agreed to form a committee that will review these laws.

The Jewish leaders at the meeting also voiced their alarm over Netanyahu's coalition partners' racist, Jewish supremacist, and anti-LGBTQ+ positions. They worry these potential policies could alienate younger Jews from Israel, given the possible reversal of rights of marginalised groups, which younger generations tend to support.

"During the meeting, people even said they could send hundreds of people in planes to Israel in order to demonstrate in Jerusalem," Axios quoted a source as saying.

The overall point of the meeting for US Jewish leaders appeared to be to warn Israeli officials about its incoming government's extreme policies, which could reduce US Jewish public support for Israel. For their part, the Israeli officials appeared to be taking a wait and see approach.