Ben-Ami: Lieberman could cause split with U.S.


Writing in the Huffington Post, J Street executive director Jeremy Ben-Ami says Benjamin Netanyahu "should think carefully about the implications, for the U.S.-Israel relationship," for including Avigdor Lieberman in the next Israeli government:

The question posed by both the Lieberman phenomenon and the rightward drift in Israeli politics is: what happens when Israeli and American values and interests start to diverge? …

Should Israel rebuff American diplomatic efforts and continue building settlements and cementing the occupation of Palestinian territory, it will run directly counter to the stated national interest of the United States.

The choice ahead for Israel represents more than the decision whether or not to include a right-wing demagogue in the next government. It is also about the direction of the country and the health of its relationship with the United States and American Jews.

The next Prime Minister of Israel should think long and hard before steering Israel down a path so sharply at odds with the values of American Jewry and the critical national interests of the United States.

Should Israel choose the Lieberman path, limiting the democratic rights of its Arab citizens, it will run directly counter to profound American Jewish values.

He also says American Jews should make their feelings known:

While it is the responsibility of Israelis to choose their government, it is the responsibility of American Jews to make clear the damage Lieberman’s program could do.

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