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Smotrich to visit DC conference despite recent controversy; will not meet with US officials

Israeli Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich attends a Finance committee meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, Jan. 10, 2023. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, whose recent remarks ignited an international firestorm of criticism, is still slated to participate in an Israel Bonds conference next week in Washington, D.C., according to The Times of Israel.

A White House official, however, has said that “no U.S. government meetings are planned for [Smotrich’s] trip.”

Despite Smotrich’s comments that the Israeli government should “wipe out” the town of Huwara in response to a terror attack by a Huwara resident, Israel Bonds released a statement implying it had no plan to rescind its invitation to Smotrich.

The organization “has always maintained a focus on one core mission: to generate financial support through the sale of Israel bonds for the building and development of Israel’s economy without regard to politics,” according to the statement.

Israel Bonds also affirmed said that its role as a financial institution requires it to remain nonpartisan.

“We are a nonpartisan financial organization, which sells Israel bonds issued by the State of Israel through its Finance Ministry,” the statement read. “As part of their long-established responsibilities, Israel’s finance ministers from across the political spectrum have historically, over Israel Bonds’ 72-year history, attended our events. One of the organization’s most unique and paramount attributes is that it remains unbiased with regard to any political party or affiliation, enabling all to show unwavering support for the wellbeing of Israel and its people, through investments in Israel bonds.”

While Smotrich condemned the violence of Israeli settlers against Huwara as “anarchy,” he said he meant that Israel should “act in a targeted manner against the terrorists and supporters of terrorism within it and to exact a heavy price from them.”

He received significant criticism from many governments, including the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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