Head of US ADL says bid to unite right wing in Israel ‘risks normalising racism’

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Head of US ADL says bid to unite right wing in Israel ‘risks normalising racism’

Jonathan Greenblatt reacted to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to form an alliance with parties with extreme views.

Jonathan Greenblatt in London, outside the Houses of Parliament
Jonathan Greenblatt in London, outside the Houses of Parliament

The head of the widely respected Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has said moves to unite and mainstream far-right parties in the Israeli parliament “risks normalising racism” in the country.

Jonathan Greenblatt was commenting on social media to news that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was planning to form an alliance with parties with extreme views.

It follows news that he was behind the recent merger of three parties: Jewish Power, or Otzma Yehudit, which follows the teachings of the late terrorist Rabbi Meir Kahane; Noam, an anti-LGBT+ party; and Religious Zionism, one of several heirs to the national religious movement.

Netanyahu saddled up to these groups in 2019 until the move drew a rare and deafening public rebuke from America’s most influential pro-Israel groups, including AIPAC.

Greenblatt said he was “disturbed by reports to unite extremist far-right Israeli political parties to help them cross the Knesset [Israeli parliament] electoral threshold. As we stated 2019, attempts to mainstream extremists are dangerous and risk normalising racism in Israeli society”.

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