Jewish leader: Netanyahu election move concerns US Jews

JERUSALEM (AP) — A prominent Jewish-American leader says that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's alliance with an ultranationalist political party has raised significant concerns among U.S. Jews.

Netanyahu last week welcomed a merger that folded the "Jewish Power" party into the larger "Jewish Home" for April elections. As part of their deal, Netanyahu gave the merged party a seat on his Likud Party's list of candidates and guaranteed them two Cabinet positions if he wins.

"Jewish Party" members see themselves as the ideological heirs of the banned Kach movement, which was outlawed by Israel and the U.S. because of its racist views.

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said Sunday that the political alliance has created a "very disturbing" image that Israel's enemies could exploit.