Democratic presidential prospect says far-right party in Israeli government ‘can’t be good’ for US-Israel ties


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat who is a prospective candidate for his party’s presidential nomination, said the inclusion of a far-right political party in Israel’s government would likely adversely affect Israel’s relationship with the United States.

“The ascendance of the far right is always a concern to a lot of us,” Brown told JTA on Tuesday at a reception organized by the Jewish Democratic Council of America when asked about a deal that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brokered to bring together the Jewish Power, or Otzma Yehudit, and Jewish Home parties in an attempt to shore up his right-wing bloc.

“When I look at their past, it’s a troubling situation,” Brown said of Jewish Power, which has its roots in the racist teachings of the assassinated Israeli-American rabbi Meir Kahane.

“I’ll see how it plays out, but it can’t be good for our relationship. It’s his call what he does,” Brown said of Netanyahu, “but I don’t like that he’s doing it.”

Brown has yet to announce but has toured early nominating states.

Last week, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who is a declared presidential candidate, denounced Jewish Power without mentioning Netanyahu.

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