Known as a relentless and tireless champion for the rights of Jews to leave safely in every part of the land of Israel, Baruch Marzel has been a leading voice in the forefront of the Israeli political scene for decades. Many readers over the age of 50 might remember that Mr. Marzel was the right-hand man of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, ztk’l and an intrepid advocate of the policies of the Kach party. In the last election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Mr. Marzel and his Otzma Yehidit party not to run on their own separate ticket, fearing that they might take votes away from the ruling Likud Party.
Now that the last elections in Israel (on April 9th) are now recorded in the history books as an anomaly of sorts since the government has to declare a dissolution due to the fact that Likud had failed in forming a coalition. MK Avigdor Lieberman of the Yisrael Beitenu party had posited himself as the proverbial cog in the machine as he adamantly refused to join a Netanyahu led Likud government and refused to join the coalition.
The planks in the Otzma Yehudit party include for the annexation of all of Judea and Samaria and for complete Israeli rule between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The party is against the suicidal two-state solution and advocates for the cancellation of the Oslo accords, as well as for the legitimate application of Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount.
The party also advocates for increased teaching of Jewish history in all elementary schools to “deepen Jewish identity in students”. The party is against “freezing construction of Jewish settlements, releasing terrorists, or negotiating with the PA”. Moreover, Otzma Yehudit advocates for the deportation of “Arab extremists”. The party advocates for what it calls “Jewish capitalism” as its economic system; they plan on saving “billions of shekels from the reduction of the defense budget following the removal of the enemy”, which would be directed at infrastructure development, reducing bureaucracy and regulations, as well as allocating resources to strengthen “weak populations”. The party also supports aiding the elderly and disabled and is opposed to abortion. Otzma Yehudit supports easing restrictions on the IDF’s rules of engagement and is against price tag attacks.
Baruch Marzel was kind enough to sit down with the Jewish Voice to explain his plans for the next Knesset and for the future of the Jewish nation in the land of Israel.
JV: Can you tell our readers about the mission of the Otzma Yehudit party and what issues it plans to tackle in the next Knesset, should you and others get re-elected?
BM: Otzma Yehudit is the only party with a plan for all issues and will not compromise on any issues pertaining to Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel), Am Yisrael (People of Israel) or our Holy Torah.
JV: In every major internet biography about your life, it speaks of your dedication to the ideology of Rabbi Kahane, ztk’l and your years of work as a Knesset assistant in the Kach party. Concerning the burgeoning problem of deadly Arab violence directed at Jews in Israel, do you plan to call for the expulsion of the Arabs from Israel as Rabbi Kahane proposed in his book “They Must Go?”
BM: I want to expel the enemies of Israel. I want to expel those who kill Jews or want to kill Jews. If an Arab pledges allegiance to the State of Israel and wants to serve Israel as the Jews are doing, then he can live in Israel. If he raises one hand against a Jew, out he goes.
JV: As to the proposed Mideast peace plan that the Trump administration plans to roll out in the next few months, could you tell me if the Otzma Yehudit party will oppose any peace plan that calls for territorial compromise on the part of the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria? What, in general, are your views of long-term peace with the malignant Arab population?
BM: Otzma Yisrael will go into a coalition to keep the Right as the major party. It will be a technical block and after elections, we will go on our own. We will not sit with anyone in a coalition that speaks about giving away even one inch of Israel.
JV: As new Israeli elections approach, many on the political right have expressed their disappointment with the performance of current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in effectively confronting an increased rate of Arab terrorism that has plagued Jewish citizens of Israel. Could you address this point and also provide your opinion of the prime minister’s failings. Would you be kind enough to describe in detail for the readers what your precise plans are for increasing the security of Jews in Judea, Samaria and all over Israel from this lethal plague?
BM: Netanyhu speaks right-wing and his actions are left-wing. “He talks the talk and does not walk the walk.” He demolishes settlements from Judea and Samaria, Not one illegal Arab village is removed. The Supreme Court ordered the removal of Khan al-Ahmar a Bedouin village and Netanyahu did not give orders to remove it. We would have more security in troubled places. Harder jail sentences for terrorists. No perks for them or be able to have university studies while in jail. They will have to realize they are not in the Hilton Hotel, but in prison. We are for the death penalty for those who murder a Jew.
JV: If you should be re-elected to the Knesset, what are your plans for restricting illegal immigration into Israel from such countries as Eritrea or the South Sudan?
BM: Otzma Yehudit leader Michael Ben- Ari was the first one to fight against the Eritrea and S. African people living in Israel. There were daily demonstrations in Tel Aviv. Not only are they not an asset to Israel, they are a danger. Whichever neighborhood they live in becomes a high crime area where people are frightened to walk the streets in the evening. We want them removed from our country and not allowed in.
JV: In terms of addressing the ever-growing number of Israelis who are challenged financially through rising unemployment or underemployment, what is Otzma Yehudit planning to do to jump start the economy? Is Otzma Yehudit involved in helping to feed those in need or providing them with basic necessities?
BM: We have to bring capitalism into this country.. Allow people from abroad to open factories and not impose high taxes and bureaucracy that will have them leave and open in another country. Their factories will bring employment. Lower taxes on businesses that are opened by Israelis. Have competition as in all capitalistic countries. The poor and old have to receive higher stipends from Pituach Luemi (National Insurance). We have to take care of our own especially the poor and old.
JV: Army service has been a controversial subject as of late. Do you feel that Chareidi yeshiva students should be called upon to serve their country as part of the armed forces? If so, could you explain why and could you also provide some exceptions to army service, if you can think of any? Do you think that Torah study takes precedence over army service?
BM: Anyone that does not learn full time should go into the army. Right now our army is too large and I believe that 20,000 men will be exempt.
JV: As you know, Iran has been Israel’s nemesis for quite some time. Do you expect that some kind of conflagration will erupt between Israel and Iran, considering the fact that Iran’s bellicose rhetoric towards Israel has been ratcheted up in view of increased sanctions by the Trump administration?
BM: Iran is not our biggest problem. We do not believe that Iran will start a war. Problem is their shipment of arms to our enemies. Our problem right now is our borders. Syria, Gaza, Lebanon which has to have soldiers guarding and ready to fight back any intrusion.
JV: In terms of addressing diaspora affairs, if re-elected to the Knesset, what kind of plan would you proffer to Jewish communities throughout the world who are being targeted by the alarming escalation of anti-Semitism?
BM: I will repeat Rabbi Meir Kahane’s HY”D words. Learn self-defense, learn to oppose haters in universities, but the bottom line is to come home. All countries that we lived in we loved, considered ours and at the end we had to leave or were killed. Same as now is happening in America when times are bad and Jew-haters come out of the woodwork. Problem is today we have Jews hating Jews. Come home and fight for your own homeland, not one that you believe is yours and in the end you will realize is not. Yes, it may not be easy in Israel, but in the end it will be impossible in the Exiles.