Ben Gvir seems to strike more conciliatory tone as supporters chant ‘death to terrorists’

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir speaks to supporters at the far-right party's campaign headquarters after the results of exit polls are announced, November 1, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir speaks to supporters at the far-right party's campaign headquarters after the results of exit polls are announced, November 1, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Religious Zionism MK Itamar Ben Gvir seeks to strike a somewhat conciliatory tone as he addresses hundreds of supporters chanting “death to terrorists,” in his first remarks after the release of encouraging exit polls for his far-right party.

“I want to say to those who did not vote for me: We’re all brothers,” Ben Gvir declares at his Otzma Yehudit subfaction’s headquarters in Jerusalem.

He maintains that the merger between Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism and his Otzma Yehudit managed to cater to a diverse array of voters: “We represent everyone: Secular and religious, Haredi and traditional, Sephardi and Ashkenazi.”

“They all want real change,” Ben Gvir says to cheers from the largely younger male crowd.

“Our (Jewish) heritage belongs not just to the religious but to the secular as well… and all have a right to learn about it in our schools,” he adds.

He then clarifies that he will fight to differentiate between Zionists and those who work “to undermine our existence here,” to which the crowd responds with further chants of “death to terrorists!”

“The time has come for our children to be able to walk safely in the streets,” Ben Gvir continues. “The time has come for us to return to being the masters of our own house.”

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