Benjamin Netanyahu under fire for alliance with racist party

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BenjaminNetanyahu under fire for alliance with racist party

Singapore News, Singapore Headlines

TEL AVIV - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's alliance with a racist party has angered the largest Jewish groups in the United States, leading to a highly unusual strong public rebuke of Israel's government and fears of serious damage to a strategically important relationship.

Many Israelis fear that Mr Netanyahu's election campaign could jeopardise the vital relations with Jews in the US. Are Israel and its most important diaspora community breaking apart? So why did Mr Netanyahu make extremists, one of whom boasts of being indicted for racism in 53 cases, not only socially acceptable, but perhaps even part of the next Israeli government?

Mr Netanyahu, therefore, needs every vote in the parliamentary election. But his right-wing camp is divided into many small splinter parties, several of which could fail to overcome the 3.25 per cent threshold needed to secure a seat in parliament. For this reason, Mr Netanyahu pressured the settler party, itself a merger of two radical parties, into an alliance with Otzma Yehudith.

And Israel's American supporters, who voice their criticism only behind doors, felt"compelled to speak out", according to the AJC. It said the views of Otzma Yehudith were"reprehensible" and"in no way reflected the core values that are the very foundation of the State of Israel.

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