Two former American diplomats have argued that the U.S. should cease providing offensive weapons or military assistance to Israel’s incoming government for actions in Jerusalem as well as Judea and Samaria.
Daniel C. Kurtzer, the U.S. ambassador to Israel under President George W. Bush and ambassador to Egypt under President Bill Clinton, and Aaron David Miller, who served six secretaries of state as an advisor on Arab-Israeli negotiations, stated their position in a Washington Post op-ed published on Tuesday and headlined “Biden should respond boldly to a radical Netanyahu government.” The authors warned against changes in the status of the Temple Mount and the Israeli settlements.
Miller subsequently tweeted, “If the extremist views of the soon to be formed Israeli Government become policy, the Biden Administration needs to step up.”
Critics of Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu’s incoming government have primarily targeted the controversial Otzma Yehudit party leader Itamar Ben-Gvir, who is set to assume the newly created position of national security minister.
Ben-Gvir’s ascension has split many in the American Jewish community. Last week, Union of Reform Judaism President Rick Jacobs said that appointing Ben-Gvir to a public security role is like “appointing David Duke, one of the leaders of the antisemitic Ku Klux Klan, as Attorney General,” adding that he and the American Reform community are concerned over Israel’s existence with such an appointment.
Concern over the inclusion of the ultra-right wing former Kahanist Kach party member began even before the election, as pro-Israel Democratic politicians such as Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) warned Netanyahu against including Ben-Gvir in a coalition should he win, despite Ben-Gvir promising that he no longer holds the same views he held in his youth.
But Orthodox rabbis in America who make up the Coalition for Jewish Values called out the administration for their double standard against Ben-Gvir while continuing to use American taxpayer dollars to fund antisemitic extremists in the Palestinian Authority.