The Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA) does not typically comment on the internal political machinations of the State of Israel. Israel operates its system on robust democratic principles, and it is inevitable that observers from afar will deeply disagree with one or more parties in any given election. However, the recent announcement that “Otzma Yehudit” (Jewish Power) and “Bayit Yehudi” (Jewish Home) are forming an alliance and could be part of a future governing coalition has compelled the ZFA to express its deep concern regarding such a union.
The Jewish Power party was formed by the disciples of Rabbi Meir Kahane and is inspired by his ideology. Kahane was the founder of a minority, extremist group and was ultimately banned from entering Knesset. Kahane espoused deplorable racist views which are entirely inconsistent with the principles on which the modern State of Israel was founded.
President of the ZFA, Jeremy Leibler, said, “as a bastion of democracy in the Middle East, Israel’s Knesset has a proud history of promoting the rule of law, equality and freedom, irrespective of race, religion, gender or ethnicity. The ideology of Jewish Power is antithetical to these important values. Electoral gains should never justify sacrificing the very values underpinning the Jewish State that we, as Diaspora Jewry, are proud to support.”
Mr Leibler added “Notwithstanding this disappointing development, the ZFA is confident that both the Israeli electorate and Knesset will continue to take any steps necessary to preserve Israel’s Jewish and democratic character”.
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