Otzma Yehudit head: Kahane was ‘holy man’; backs expulsion of ‘disloyal’ Arabs

Itamar Ben Gvir, head of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, tells Channel 13 the party’s spiritual progenitor, the late extremist rabbi Meir Kahane, was “a holy man” and a “hero.”

But he says he does not agree with all the rabbi’s teachings. For instance, he does not believe in the expulsion of all Israeli Arabs, “only those who are not loyal to the state.”

Itamar Ben Gvir, head of the Otzma Yehudit party, holds a press conference in Jerusalem on February 26, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s backing, Otzma Yehudit merged with Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism Party in the hopes of garnering enough votes to enter the Knesset.

Netanyahu has been repeatedly panned in Israel and abroad for his efforts to bring the extremist party into parliament, while the prime minister insists it is necessary to prevent tens of thousands of right-wing votes from going to waste.

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