Israel's Netanyahu defends partnership with far-right party

Published 02-23-2019

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JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli prime minister is defending his partnership with a small ultranationalist party despite local and international condemnation.

Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday took to Twitter and called the criticism, which also came from pro-Israel Jewish organizations in the US, as "hypocrisy and double standards."

Netanyahu is seeking a fourth straight term as premier in Israel's April election.

Earlier this week, his Likud party formed a partnership with a smaller merged party that includes members of the 'Jewish Power' movement.

Jewish Power embraces ideas of late rabbi Meir Kahane, who wanted a Jewish theocracy and advocated forced removal of Palestinians.

In 1997, Washington classified his Kach movement a terrorist group.

Netanyahu accused leftist critics of having once acted "to put extreme Islamists into the Knesset" to weaken the right.

Netanyahu accused leftist critics of having once acted "to put extreme Islamists into the Knesset" to weaken the right.

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