(April 12, 2019 / JNS) Now that the dust is starting to settle after Israel’s national elections on Tuesday—followed immediately afterwards with the emotional upheaval related to Israel’s “Beresheet” spacecraft attempting to land on the moon on Thursday—the Jewish community in the United States is reacting to the results. Jewish and pro-Israel groups expressed mixed reactions to the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The responses highlighted the accomplishments that Jewish groups cheered and jeered over the past two years of the Trump administration. These include the much stronger relations between America and Israel that have led to clear-cut diplomatic gains, including U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaring Jerusalem the official capital of Israel in December 2017; moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018; withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran that same month; increasing sanctions on Iran in August and November 2018; approving Israel’s sovereignty of the Golan Heights shortly; labeling Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terror group; and defunding most taxpayer assistance to the Palestinian Authority for rewarding terrorists and their families, among other measures.
“Most traditional and enthusiastic Zionists Jews admire what Mr. Netanyahu has done for Israel,” National Conference on Jewish Affairs spokesperson Rabbi Aryeh Spero told JNS. “True, many of the liberal Jewish leaders in America do not favor him, but they would be equally against any Likud or center-right leader.”
He added that “it is not for Diaspora Jews outside to force its ways on Israel. Israel is not the place for liberal American Jewish leaders to social engineer how Israel prays or where they pray. Israel cannot be a laboratory for liberal social experimentation from those living outside.”