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Extreme-right MK Ben Gvir claims ‘it has been years’ since he chanted ‘Death to Arabs’

Otzma Yehudit party leader Itamar Ben Gvir speaks during a press conference ahead of the upcoming elections, in Jerusalem, July 11, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Otzma Yehudit party leader Itamar Ben Gvir speaks during a press conference ahead of the upcoming elections, in Jerusalem, July 11, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

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.

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.”

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