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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

In a highly unusual move, the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC today denounced the deal pushed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a united ultra right-wing party that will run in the April 9 elections, which would pave the way for Jewish supremacists from the "Jewish Power" party to make it into the next Knesset.

Details: In a tweet on its official account, AIPAC wrote: "We agree with AJC [American Jewish Committee, which also denounced the deal]. AIPAC has a longstanding policy not to meet with members of this racist and reprehensible party." Netanyahu's deal with Jewish Power is an unprecedented development in Israel's history and is equivalent to a U.S. president cutting a political deal with former KKK leader David Duke.

Why it matters: The AIPAC tweet is a big deal. It is a rare case of the pro-Israel lobby criticizing the prime minister of Israel. It is even more rare that this criticism is about a political move during an election campaign. The AIPAC tweet comes a month before Netanyahu is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the organization's annual policy conference.

  • The tweet comes after several pro-Israel organizations denounced the deal pushed by Netanyahu to get the Jewish supremacists into the Knesset.

The American Jewish Committee said in a statement:

"The views of Otzma Yehudit [Jewish Power] are reprehensible. They do not reflect the core values that are the very foundation of the State of Israel. The party might conceivably gain enough votes to enter the next Knesset, and potentially even become part of the governing coalition."

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, tweeted:

"There should be no room for racism & no accommodation for intolerance in Israel or any democracy. ADL previously has spoken out on hate-filled rhetoric of leaders of the Otzma Yehudit [Jewish Power] Party. It is troubling that they are being legitimized by this union."

Go deeper: Netanyahu boosts racist far-right party with pre-election deal

Go deeper

U.S. friends in Latin America are turning to China

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The U.S. is losing Latin America to China without putting up a fight, Ecuador’s ambassador to Washington told Axios, laying bare her frustrations with early inattention from the Biden administration.

Why it matters: Ecuador isn't alone. China has deepened its engagement in the region, and it's now the top trading partner for many of the region's largest economies. That gives Beijing considerable leverage in a region historically dominated by the U.S., and makes Latin America a major frontier in the global competition for influence.

1 dead, 14 injured in shooting at Kroger grocery store near Memphis

One person was killed and 14 others were injured Thursday in a shooting at a Kroger grocery store in Collierville, Tenn., near Memphis, the town's spokesperson Jennifer Casey said, per CNN.

What they're saying: "I've been involved in [police work] for 34 years and I have never seen anything like [this]," Police Chief Dale Lane said at a press conference.

3 hours ago - Health

CDC panel recommends Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up

Photo: Marco Bello/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A key panel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster shots for people 65 years old and older, as well as those at high risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: The approval is the near-final step in making the booster shots available to tens of millions of Americans, and comes a day after the FDA approved Pfizer boosters for the two groups. CDC director Rochelle Walensky is expected to announce her recommendation soon.