Lapid Warns Rising Star Ben-Gvir is ‘More Dangerous’ than Arab Party’s Odeh - The Jewish Voice
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Lapid Warns Rising Star Ben-Gvir is ‘More Dangerous’ than Arab Party’s Odeh

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“There is a danger that Ben-Gvir will convince young Jews of the righteousness of his path,” the prime minister said.

By:  Debbie Reiss

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Sunday night claimed that right wing MK Itamar Ben-Gvir is “more dangerous” than the Joint Arab List’s MK Ayman Odeh, who has incited to violence against Jewish Israelis.

“Ben-Gvir is a dangerous man,” Lapid told the Kikar Hashabbat website. “He’s more dangerous than [Ayman] Odeh. There’s no chance that Odeh will convince an entire generation of Jewish youth of the righteousness of his path; there’s definitely a danger that Ben-Gvir will convince young Jews of the righteousness of his path.”

“Ben-Gvir hit on the correct thing: People are scared. He uses this fear. My question is, is he the solution? What has he done in life which makes him appropriate to deal with this issue?”

Ben-Gvir is head of the Otzma Yehudit party that has joined forces with the Religious Zionism party ahead of November’s election.

Ben-Gvir, whose fiery rhetoric has earned him a reputation as a provocateur, is likely to be the election kingmaker.

Odeh has a history of endorsing violence, including encouraging Arab rioters in Jerusalem, comparing Israeli terror victims to dead Arab terrorists, and participating in a joint Hamas-Fatah press conference in which the two rival Palestinian factions declared they would make amends in order to wage war against Israel together.

Earlier this year, Odeh physically assaulted Ben-Gvir in a hospital, where a convicted terrorist was hospitalized. Months later, lawmakers from his anti-Zionist Joint List party attacked Ben-Gvir again over his proposal to  implement the death penalty for terrorists.

Lapid also told Kikar Hashabbat on Sunday that he would have no problem sitting in a ruling coalition with Israel’s ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism, so long as “they accept the basic principles of the government.”

“There is no reason not to sit with them. By the way, in the campaign for a ‘secular government’ – I was not the one who headed the party,” the caretaker prime minister added.

Addressing his relationship with UTJ’s MK Moshe Gafni, Lapid went on: “Between myself and Gafni there is a good relationship. By the way, even more surprisingly, between him and my father [late politician Tommy Lapid] there was not a bad relationship, surrounding the missionary law, and I continued this. I have a good personal relationship with him, I want to stop the damage that you are causing him now. There is such a thing as a good personal relationship, not everything turns political.”

“I say again: I do not rule out the ultra-Orthodox, there is only an issue of basic principles. People must understand, when something is very important to them, for religious people the principles are very important to them, I really appreciate that. They only need to understand that the things that I believe in are very important to me. We will need to find the middle ground. Compromise is not a bad thing.”


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