Open letter from Israel Policy Forum chair on Netanyahu and the Kahanists

Last week was ugly.

February 26, 2019 05:08
2 minute read.
Susie Gelman

Susie Gelman border 150. (photo credit: Courtesy)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Susie Gelman, board chair of Israel Policy Forum, disseminated an open letter on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Kahanists late Sunday. 

The following are excerpts from that letter:

"Last week was ugly.

"Benjamin Netanyahu’s inducement of a political merger that could actually bring Kahanists back to the Knesset was rightly condemned throughout the American Jewish community...

"I am truly appalled by Netanyahu’s actions not to just strengthen the far right but to actually encourage and legitimize racists in Israel’s political establishment... Sadly, we can expect that the coming weeks of the Israeli election will bring ugly and divisive rhetoric from politicians, much of which will be difficult to stomach for those of us who care deeply about Israel...

"I am not giving up on Israel. Last week was a difficult one for all of us who care about the shared values that have long been at the heart of the U.S.-Israel relationship.  I imagine that you may share my grave concerns about where Israel could be headed. As Americans, we don’t have a vote in the upcoming election, but I firmly believe that our voice is still critical.

“The next few months could easily shape the story of the Jewish people for years to come. The future of Israel, its relationship with American Jews, and the strength of the U.S.-Israel alliance will all be tested.  Those of us who care deeply about the enduring relationship between Israel and the Jewish community have an important role to play. I believe that American Jews must not give up on Israel; neither can we forfeit our responsibility to be heard.”

Netanyahu cut a deal last week that paves the way for Otzma Yehudit, an extremist and racist group with roots in Kahanist political philosophy, to sit in the next Knesset when it opens. 

Otzma Yehudit- or Jewish Power in English– is an offshoot of a political movement that has been designated a terrorist organization abroad and banned from Knesset lists since the 1980s. That movement, founded by the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, considers Arabs and other non-Jews in Israel to be enemies of the state and supports replacing Israel's democratic government with a theocratic structure.

The Israel Policy Forum is a non-partisan US organization founded in 1993. The forum supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, consistent with Israel's security and long-term future as a Jewish and democratic state.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at American Independence Day celebration in Jerusalem July 2019
July 22, 2019
Likud fumbles criticizing Lapid’s English


Cookie Settings