Yesh Atid MK on Netanyahu, Ben-Gvir: Hitler also rose to power democratically

National Unity's Sharren Haskel claims Gantz can bring in Likud defectors • Arab list asks for support of Jewish Left amid threshold fears

 L: Otzma Yehudit leader MK Itamar Ben Gvir. R: Likud leader, former-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
L: Otzma Yehudit leader MK Itamar Ben Gvir. R: Likud leader, former-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Yesh Atid MK Ram Ben Barak likened the potential victory of opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu's bloc in next week's election to Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany in a Shabatarbut event in Beersheba.

"I am not comparing this to anything, but Hitler also rose to power in a democratic manner," the Foreign and Defense Committee head said when asked about the prospect of a government led by Netanyahu and radical right-wing MKs Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir. 

Ben Barak further claimed that "the first law passed in such a government would be to declare the High Court of Justice null and void."

"The cooperation between Ben-Gvir and Smotrich's racist, anti-democratic party and Netanyahu, who will do anything to escape his trials, is extremely dangerous," Ben Barak warned.

 A billboard of then-Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Itamar Ben Gvir, head of the Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Strength) , as part of Otzma Yehudit election campaign, in the northern Israeli city of Tzfat, February 28, 2020.  (credit: DAVID COHEN/FLASH 90) A billboard of then-Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Itamar Ben Gvir, head of the Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Strength) , as part of Otzma Yehudit election campaign, in the northern Israeli city of Tzfat, February 28, 2020. (credit: DAVID COHEN/FLASH 90)

"We must protect our democracy," he added, calling to vote for Prime Minister Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid faction. Ben Barak later clarified on Twitter that he "would never compare anyone in Israel and the world to Hitler."

National Unity MK: Gantz will bring Likud defectors

In Ramat Hasharon, National Unity MK Sharren Haskel claimed her party head, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, will convince the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) and Likud MKs to defect from Netanyahu's bloc and form an alternative government.

"MKs on Netanyahu's bloc will not want four more years in the opposition," Haskel predicted. "If Netanyahu cannot reach 61 seats, I am confident some of them will join us."

Haskel refused to name potential defectors. 

"The only man who can establish a stable government for four years with elements from both our bloc and Netanyahu's bloc is Benny Gantz," Haskel summarized.

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman went on the attack against fellow government ministers on Saturday, warning Lapid and Gantz will "give everything" to the haredi factions in the hope that they will break off from the Netanyahu bloc to form a government.

Liberman further stated that in the case that such a government is formed, Yisrael Beytenu will not a part of it.

Meretz chief alarmed by threshold, Arab list calls on Jewish Left

In another Shabatarbut event, Meretz's annual gevalt campaign was in full flow as chief Zehava Galon warned Meretz is inching closer and closer to the electoral threshold. 

"If Meretz falls [below the threshold], Netanyahu's bloc will win 63-64 seats," Galon said. "If this twisted bunch takes control, we will see dramatic and reactionary changes in regard to gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights and the Arab sector."

Galon advised that Israelis voting for her bloc "think three steps ahead."

The Meretz chairwoman also criticized Netanyahu and the Likud for the reported voter suppression campaign held in Arab-Israeli towns across Israel in an attempt to keep the voting percentage among Arab citizens to a minimum.

"[Netanyahu] used to warn of Arabs voters going 'en masse to the polls,' now he is asking to place Likud cameras in voting booths across Arab cities and towns.

"He has one goal and one goal only," Galon said, "[to] suppress voting among Arab-Israelis."

 MEMBERS OF the Hadash and Ta’al factions speak to the media in the Knesset. A Knesset with 20 Palestinian-Israeli MKs would be a very different Knesset from those we have known until now, says the writer. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) MEMBERS OF the Hadash and Ta’al factions speak to the media in the Knesset. A Knesset with 20 Palestinian-Israeli MKs would be a very different Knesset from those we have known until now, says the writer. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Earlier on Saturday, the Arab Hadash-Ta'al list held a press conference in which they vowed to do "everything in our power, with the help of Israeli democratic voices, to raise the voting percentage amongst our people."

Ta'al head Ahmad Tibi also called for members of the Jewish Left to vote for his faction, noting that his unified list with Aymen Odeh's Hadash has a "clear platform and clean conscientious positions that many [Jewish left-wing voters] can identify with."