ed note–Again, the big ‘why’ viz Netanyahu choosing at this time to advance the party of Meir Kahane is better understood by considering the ‘what if’ of DJT returning to the White House and beginning once again the ‘big push’ for his ‘Deal of the Century’ that has been the cause of all the political turmoil and instability of the last 5 years.
Also, keep in mind the ‘optics’ here, and particularly Ben Gvir’s appearance of adopting a more ‘reasonable’ approach to dealing with the ‘Ishmaelites’ dwelling within Israel. The Jews don’t want a total expulsion of Gentiles, as they need to keep a small percentage around for menial jobs that are reserved only for slaves and for Shabbos Goy, and per the very specific dictates of the Torah as specifically laid out within the comments of former chief Sephardi Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, to wit–
Why are Gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat. That is why Gentiles were created…While in Israel, death has no dominion over them…With gentiles, it will be like any person – they need to die, but God will give them longevity. Why? Imagine that one’s donkey would die, they’d lose their money. This is his servant…That’s why the Gentile in Israel gets a long life, to work well for the Jew. Gentiles were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world’.
Times of Israel
Itamar Ben Gvir, head of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, said Thursday that the party’s late spiritual mentor, the extremist rabbi Meir Kahane, was “a holy man” and a “hero.”
He clarified, though, in an interview with Channel 13 News that he does not agree with all the rabbi’s teachings. For instance, he does not believe in the expulsion of all Israeli Arabs, he said, “only those who are not loyal to the state.”
Asked how he planned to implement such a policy, Ben Gvir said he would not approach every single Arab citizen and ask them whether they are loyal to the state. Rather, he specified that an Arab who hurls a Molotov Cocktail at Israeli troops should be kicked out of the country.
Ben Gvir was also dismissive of remarks made by Likud Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin earlier Thursday that Otzma Yehudit, which merged with Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism Party at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s behest, will not be part of the coalition.
The Otzma Yehudit chairman said he had been in contact with Netanyahu confidants in recent weeks and both sides understood that Netanyahu cannot form a right-wing coalition without his far-right faction in the Knesset.
Ben Gvir’s positions have made him no friends with the majority-Arab Joint List, and one of its supporters, Haifa councilman Raja Za’atra, was filmed harassing the Otzma Yehudit chairman at the Knesset on Thursday.
With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s backing, Otzma Yehudit merged with Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism Party in the hopes of garnering enough votes to enter the Knesset.
Netanyahu has been repeatedly criticized in Israel and abroad for his efforts to bring the extremist party into parliament, while the prime minister insists it is necessary to prevent tens of thousands of right-wing votes from going to waste.
The prime minister was said to have promised Smotrich that he’d place a candidate of Smotrich’s choice on Likud’s slate and offer him at least one ministerial portfolio if he merged with Otzma Yehudit. Kan news reported that Netanyahu has also promised to allow new settlement construction in the West Bank in exchange for the merger going forward and to give Smotrich all credit for the move.
Ben Gvir will be third on the merged slate, meaning he will win a seat in the Knesset if the merged ticket clears the 3.25% Knesset threshold.
Otzma Yehudit is made up of followers of the late racist rabbi Meir Kahane, a former MK whose Kach party was banned from the Knesset in the 1980s — the first instance of a party being banned for racism. Otzma Yehudit supports encouraging emigration of non-Jews from Israel and expelling Palestinians and Israeli Arabs who refuse to declare loyalty to Israel and accept diminished status in an expanded Jewish state whose sovereignty extends throughout the West Bank.
Ben Gvir’s former running mate, ex-MK Michael Ben-Ari, was disqualified from running for the Knesset over accusations of racism.