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March 4, 2023 11:43 am

US Officials to Boycott Smotrich During his Visit

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avatar by i24 News

Knesset Member Bezalel Smotrich clashes with security personnel during a Knesset session, June 13, 2021. Photo: Ilia Yefimovich/dpa/Reuters

i24 NewsAccording to a senior political official via Channel 12, Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich is now considered “persona non grata,” among the American government.

The same source clarified that even before this statement, the administration was not enthusiastic about him. The outrage in the American administration follows Smotrich stating that “the State of Israel should erase Huwara.” The official reportedly told Channel 12: “If Smotrich was ‘persona non grata’ before this statement, now after the disgrace he uttered he is ‘persona non grata’ on steroids. No official American official will meet with Smotrich. After he said these things, the phone in the bureaus in Jerusalem did not stop ringing.”

The American boycott follows the State Department vehemently denouncing the minister’s remarks last Wednesday. The comment was deemed “repulsive” by the State Department, which urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the senior government figures under his leadership to retract it.

In addition, 120 American Jewish leaders signed a statement on Friday opposing Smotrich’s trip to the US later this month. They said the leader of the far-right Religious Zionism party, who has a history of making offensive statements, “should not be given a platform in our community,” especially after he called to “wipe out” an entire Palestinian town earlier this week.

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