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Far-right MK calls to arrest opposition leaders, accuses them of ‘treason’

Otzma Yehudit MK Zvika Fogel speaks to the Kan public broadcaster in an interview, January 10, 2023. (Kan/screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Otzma Yehudit MK Zvika Fogel speaks to the Kan public broadcaster in an interview, January 10, 2023. (Kan/screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Far-right MK Zvika Fogel (Otzma Yehudit) calls for the arrest of opposition leaders and two former MKs, accusing them of “treason against the state” and saying they “are the most dangerous people right now.”

Fogel is currently slated to become head of the Knesset’s Public Security Committee in several weeks’ time.

The MK, speaking to Kan news, bristles at comments made by National Unity party leader Benny Gantz yesterday that the government’s judicial reform plan could lead to “civil war.”

He claims Gantz, opposition leader Yair Lapid and former MKs Moshe Ya’alon and Yair Golan are all “talking about war” and should therefore be arrested.

“This is crazy. These four should be arrested. These are the most dangerous people right now,” he says.

Asked by an incredulous anchor if she’d heard him correctly, Fogel doubles down.

“That’s exactly what I said. These four are now talking about war… If they were calling to protest I’d give them every right to protest. But they’re talking in terms of me being an enemy.”

He adds: “As far as I’m concerned it’s treason against the state, if I wasn’t clear enough.”

Fogel is a member of National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s far-right Otzma Yehudit party. Ben Gvir has been given unprecedented powers over police as part of the new coalition, with greater authority to dictate policy.

Gantz said at a meeting Monday of his National Unity party that the government’s sweeping judicial reform plan will lead to “civil war.” Urging the public to lawfully take to the streets, he added, “It’s time to go out en masse and demonstrate; it’s time to make the country tremble.”

Echoing Gantz’s criticism of the planned judicial overhaul Lapid told his Yesh Atid party that “this is extreme regime change” and that the reforms are “eliminating democracy.” Lapid promised to keep fighting in the streets in what he called “a war over our home.”

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