While fringe American Jewish elements like the Orthodox Union, the far-right Zionist Organization of America and Israel Bonds are welcoming the racist Israeli finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, most of the American Jewish community is shunning him. Some of those publicly denouncing him are people who have heretofore hewn to the mantra of never criticizing Israel no matter how horrible its crimes.
It is telling to see who is speaking out about Smotrich and the government he represents and who is still defending them. That includes some congressional Democrats, and of course Republicans. But it’s even more important to recognize that, while Smotrich may be the current target, the real problem is Netanyahu and the so-called “mainstream” of Israel. Smotrich might be turning up the heat on long-standing Israeli policies toward the Palestinians, but he is not creating new ones. I explain in my latest for Mondoweiss.