Far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir tells Channel 12 news “it has been years” since he chanted “Death to Arabs.”
Ben Gvir was asked to respond to a video from Friday at Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market, when he silenced a man who called out “Death to Arabs.”
“I’m no longer 16, 20 or 25… I was wrong when I generalized that all the Arabs should be expelled,” he tells the network.
מוות למחבלים. לא מוות לערבים.
בן גביר בשוק במחנה יהודה.
— אריאל אלחרר (@ariel_elharar_) July 22, 2022
Channel 12 plays a video of him marching in Hadera in March, following a deadly terror attack, surrounded by supporters shouting “Death to Arabs,” whom he does not tell to stop.
In response, Ben Gvir says: “Am I to understand that I’m supposed to be the national silencer [of such chants] at every moment?”
While he has changed, Ben Gvir says, Ra’am’s Mansour Abbas has not. “A year ago, Mansour Abbas embraced terrorists… to whom do you think [he is still] transferring money?” he says.
Addressing himself to Israel’s left, Ben Gvir says he doesn’t think they are “traitors.”
“There are some; I’d put Ofer Cassif on a flight along with Ayman Odeh. But the left, generally, are my brothers. I am battling on their behalf too,” he says.
Channel 12 also plays an interview from February 2021, in which then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Ben Gvir won’t be a minister in his government.
Ben Gvir says that if asked about this today, Netanyahu “would give a different answer.”
He says he “admires and appreciates” Netanyahu, “and we’ve gotten to know each other in the past year.”