Israeli MK Itamar Ben-Gvir shared a video on his Twitter account on Tuesday that appeared to show a school in east Jerusalem performing in a play – the plot of which being Ben-Gvir’s capture and execution by armed Palestinians.
שיא חדש בהסתה נגדי, כך נראית הצגת סוף שנה בבית ספר במזרח ירושלים, תלמידים "מחסלים" אותי לקול צהלת המורים והתלמידים. אסור לעבור בשתיקה על ההסתה הפרועה בבית הספר, זה מתחיל בהסתה ועלול להיגמר ברצח. צריך למצות את הדין עם המסיתים ותומכי הטרור. אני מצפה מהמשטרה לפעול ולעצור את המסיתים. pic.twitter.com/6PNljYcqJs— איתמר בן גביר (@itamarbengvir) July 19, 2022
The video was originally posted on TikTok and reposted by independent journalist Yedidya Epshtein on Twitter.
“The wild incitement in school must not be passed over in silence – it starts with incitement and may end in murder.”Itamar Ben-Gvir
“The wild incitement in school must not be passed over in silence – it starts with incitement and may end in murder,” Ben-Gvir said on Twitter. “The instigators and supporters of terrorism must be brought to justice.”
No stranger to controversy
Ben-Gvir, who leads the right-wing religious Zionist “Otzma Yehudit” Party, has become known across Israeli politics for his hardline views.
A lawyer by trade who has defended far-right Jewish activists charged with incitement, Ben-Gvir joined the Knesset in 2013 as a parliamentary assistant and was elected in 2021. He gained infamy for saying in 2019 that Arab citizens of Israel who were not loyal to Israel "must be expelled".
Ben-Gvir’s activism has made him no stranger to controversy and has led to his large disapproval among Arab-Israeli and Palestinian residents. Ben-Gvir and Joint List MK Ayman Odeh, who is Arab, got into a scuffle in 2021 during a visit to a Hamas operative’s hospital room while he was on a hunger strike. The MK has also frequented the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem in solidarity with Jewish residents since the area came into public focus in May 2021.
Associated with the Kahanist movement – an extremist ideology based on the views of Rabbi Meir Kahane, who said that a majority of Arabs in Israel are enemies of the state and the Jewish people – Ben Gvir originally came to national prominence after stealing a Cadillac emblem from Yitzchak Rabin’s car just a few weeks before his assassination.
A recent Channel 13 poll found that the Religious Zionist list would rise to 13 Knesset seats in the next election if it was led by Ben-Gvir, three or four more than with current leader MK Betzalel Smotrich.