URP leaders vote in Israel's election; Smotrich slams Netanyahu and Gantz

"Are we extremists? Religious Zionists can die on the battlefield, but not hold the education and justice portfolios [in government]?" Smotrich asked.

April 9, 2019 14:18
1 minute read.
Betzalel Smutrich voting in Kedumim

Betzalel Smutrich voting in Kedumim. (photo credit: HILLEL MEIR/TPS)


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National Union of Right-Wing Parties number two Bezalel Smotrich voted on Tuesday morning together with his wife, Revital, and their children at the polling station in the West Bank settlement of Kedumim.

As he left the polling station, Smotrich slammed Blue and White party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, who strongly oppose the possibility that he would be appointed education minister.

"Gantz should be ashamed," he said. "Are we extremists? Religious Zionists can die on the battlefield, but not hold the education and justice portfolios [in government]?" Smotrich asked. "You were the chief of staff and met religious Zionists in the best elite units of the IDF, who fought and gave their lives [for Israel].  Are you not ashamed to blacken them like that?"

Smotrich also heavily criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for also aligning himself against the religious Zionists.

"You have been under 10 years of false incitement to delegitimization," he said. "I did not expect you to align yourself with the incitement of the Left when it was aimed at members of the religious Zionist movement."

He said that if the Right is going to remain strong, it needs to stand tall and as one entity.
"Religious Zionism is in one place only, and this is in the unification of the right-wing parties," he added.

Meanwhile, Bayit Yehudi and NRP chairman Rafi Peretz also voted on Tuesday morning in the southern Israeli settlement of Neveh, bringing along four of his 12 children.

Rafi Peretz votes with four of his children in southern Israel. (Courtesy)

"Good morning everyone from my home in the settlement of Neveh in the Halutza dunes," Peretz said. "A settlement established after the expulsion from Gush Katif... We will vote NRP so there will not be another expulsion."

Peretz called on "all the people of Israel to vote correctly."

"Vote for URP, we will determine the influence and the spirit of religious Zionism in the Knesset to be elected, as well as in the government that will be formed," he added.

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