Itamar Ben-Gvir
Itamar Ben-GvirFlah 90

The Biden Administration is likely to refuse to work with Otzma Yehudit chairman Itamar Ben-Gvir if he becomes a minister in Israel's next government, Axios reported.

Two US officials said that no final decision has been made yet, but the administration is likely to boycott Ben-Gvir, who would become the first Israeli minister the US government would refuse to work with.

Ben-Gvir has expressed a desire to serve as Public Security Minister, a position which would make him responsible for the Israel Police and the policy in the holy places in Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Public Security Minister is involved in a range of collaborations and contacts between Israel and the US - in the political field regarding Jerusalem, in the civilian field in the issue of visas to the US, and in the field of security cooperation.

Officials from Otzma Yehudit responded: "The undemocratic campaign that the Israeli left is trying to push continues. We know very well who in Israel is trying to incite the Americans to interfere in Israeli democracy and what their interests are."

Prior to the election, US officials expressed concern that Ben-Gvir's rise and possible participation in the next Israeli government and said that this development could harm US-Israel relations.

In September, Israel Hayom reported that officials from within the Biden administration as well as Jewish organizations in the United States have expressed their concern at the possibility that the head of the right-wing Otzma Yehudit party, MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, will be appointed a minister in the next Israel government, if opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu succeeds in forming a coalition following elections to be held in early November.

"The administration is monitoring developments with concern," one senior American official was quoted as saying, "and is very anxious regarding the possibility that the head of Otzma Yehudit will be appointed a minister in a future Israeli government."

He added that, "Of course we are following what's happening over there, but at the present stage it's too early to comment. However, if we reach the point where such things are under discussion, there's no doubt that the administration will clarify its position, and for us, that would be an immense problem."

The unnamed official further noted that opposition leader Netanyahu is well aware of the "problematic" aspects of appointing Ben-Gvir as a minister. "Anyone who has any sense realizes how problematic this is. Just look at this man's past history, the things he's done, the statements he's made. This isn't someone we want to see in government. Netanyahu is a wise and seasoned politician and he understands the ramifications of such a development. This has yet to be discussed with him since, as I said, it's still early days. But there's no doubt that he's aware of this."