Itamar Ben-Gvir, a leader of the Otzma Yehudit list, which is running with Bayit Yehudi in the upcoming Knesset election, released a video attacking Ichud Leumi Chairman, Transportation Minister Betzalel Smotrich.
Ben-Gvir points out that at first, Smotrich told him the rabbonim would determine the order of the lineup. Then Ben-Gvir says “you called for primaries”, with Ben-Gvir now agreeing, asking to permit the public set the order lineup as stated.
Ben-Gvir explains he and his colleagues understand the dangers facing Eretz Yisrael, and therefore, they decided to make many serious compromises towards running under a united list. Ben-Gvir now calls on Smotrich to sit with him and Bayit Yehudi leader Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz and hammer out an agreement so Ichud Leumi can join the united list too.
בצלאל היקר, זה לא הזמן לספינים. גורל ארץ ישראל מונח על כף המאזניים. תגלה אחריות ותצטרף לחיבור. מחכים לך! pic.twitter.com/3nuMHuWiQn
— איתמר בן גביר (@itamarbengvir) December 31, 2019
Smotrich released a statement “the truth and Ben-Gvir do not go hand in hand”, seemingly unwilling to accept Ben-Gvir’s version of ongoing events surrounding a right-wing list for the upcoming Knesset election.
Speaking with KAN Reshet Bet Radio host Kalman Lieberman on Wednesday morning, Smotrich denied the accuracy of Ben-Gvir’s statements, insisting there were no such statements made by him, adding his statement, “the truth and Ben-Gvir do not go hand in hand”.
In an interview with Galei Tzahal (Army Radio), Smotrich explained that first, the dati leumi parties must connect and then move on to the “Kahane people”, i.e., Ben-Gvir and his party. Talks between Smotrich and Peretz have broken down since Peretz signed a deal with Otzma Yehudit before his veteran partner, Ichud Leumi.
In his response to Smotrich’s words, Ben-Gvir took affront to the fact that Smotrich does not view him and his colleagues as “religious Zionists”. He responded to Smotrich during an interview with KAN News11 Radio, accusing him of spreading disinformation.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)