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Democrats ‘did everything to stop’ Smotrich’s entry to the U.S. – report

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By Debbie Reiss, WorldIsraelNews.com

U.S. officials did “everything to prevent” Religious Zionism party head Bezalel Smotrich from obtaining a visa to enter the United States this week, an Israeli journalist said on Sunday.

A day earlier, Smotrich announced that he had canceled a trip to New York, where he was scheduled to attend the annual Chabad “shluchim” (emissaries) delegation conference, citing ongoing coalition negotiations. Over 6,000 guests from around the world participated.

Smotrich had demanded the Defense Ministry, but Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu refused over the Biden administration’s objections, Israeli media reported last week.

Smotrich’s party released a statement in response, saying that “the Biden administration should also respect Israeli democracy and not interfere in the establishment of an elected government.”

On Monday, Israeli media reported that Smotrich had dropped the demand for the defense portfolio and accepted the finance ministry instead.

Radio Kol Chai reporter Avi Blum, who is attending the Chabad conference in Crown Heights, said: “The Americans did everything to prevent him from coming here.”

Furthermore, Blum claimed, “Chabad breathed a sigh of relief when Smotrich canceled his attendance at the shluchim conference.”

Chabad had received “messages from the Democratic party and from donors associated with it that it was not to their liking,” he told listeners.

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