Ben-Gvir calls on Bibi not to attack Otzma in election campaign

Disqualified Otzma candidate Baruch Marzel: Supreme Court justices are “enemies of Judaism, of the Land of Israel, of everything holy.”

August 27, 2019 03:32
2 minute read.
Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir at the the Central Elections Committee

Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir at the the Central Elections Committee. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Senior Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben-Gvir called on the prime minister not to attack his party during the election campaign, following the disqualification of candidates Baruch Marzel and Bentzi Gopstein on Sunday by the Supreme Court.

Ben-Gvir said Monday morning at the party’s headquarters in Jerusalem that he had reached out to the Prime Minister’s Office, saying that the only chance of forming a right-wing government was if
Otzma passed the electoral threshold.

Polls currently show that neither the right-wing nor left-wing will have 61 MKs to form a government, and Ben-Gvir is arguing that if Otzma passes the electoral threshold with the minimum of four seats, it would be enough to grant the right-wing a majority in Knesset.

“I told [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s office that nothing will happen if Likud or Yamina don’t get an extra seat,” said Ben-Gvir. “With all due respect to [Yamina’s ninth-place candidate] Roni Sassover, the four seats of Otzma are those that can establish a right-wing government.”

His comments appear to be a subtle request that the Likud not attack Otzma in the final weeks of the election campaign, and also appear to be a jab at the fact that Sassover is a secular candidate among the Yamina union of religious right-wing parties and the New Right, which seeks to appeal to secular voters as well as those who are religious.

Ben-Gvir also claimed that “dozens” of voters had sent Otzma messages that they had intended to vote for other parties but now intend to vote for Otzma Yehudit because of the disqualification of Ben-Gvir and Marzel.

“This unequal step not only does not hurt us, but gives us the strength to keep going until victory,” said Ben-Gvir.

Marzel described the Supreme Court justices as “enemies of Judaism, of the Land of Israel, of everything holy.”

The disqualification of Marzel and Gopstein from the second and fifth spots, respectively, on the Otzma list means that Edva Biton is now the party’s second candidate on its electoral list.

Biton, 39, is a pharmaceutical chemist and mother of seven – and whose daughter was killed in a rock-throwing incident by Palestinians – and is now the party’s number two.

Yitzhak Vassalrof, 26, an activist in south Tel Aviv to have African asylum seekers and migrants expelled from the country, now occupies the third spot on the party’s electoral list, Meir David Kuperschmidt is at number four, and Yitzhak Kroizer, 34, is at number five.

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