Itamar Ben-Gvir, the controversial head of Otzma Yehudit, was threatened on Monday by the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, who claimed he would “suffer the same destiny” as an Israeli tourist minister who was killed in October 2001.
Islamic Jihad compared Ben-Gvir to Rehavam Ze’evi, the founder of the right-wing Moledet party, who “held the doctrine of a transfer and expulsion of the Arabs from the land of Palestine and as a result, he was expelled from life by Palestinians,” the terrorist organization claimed.
Terrorist Hamdi Quran from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine killed Zeevi.
The response from Ben-Gvir, who will soon take on the newly created role of national security minister in Benjamin Netanyahu’s next administration, was that the threat from Islamic Jihad “will not dissuade me.”
He declared that we are devoted to giving Israel’s inhabitants their security back.
The moment has arrived to establish a government that is entirely on the right so that we can defeat the Islamic Jihad.
The rise of Ben-Gvir has caused much division in the American Jewish community. Rick Jacobs, president of the Union of Reform Judaism, stated last week that appointing Ben-Gvir to a position involving public safety is equivalent to “naming David Duke, one of the leaders of the anti-Semitic Ku Klux Klan, as Attorney General” and that he and the American Reform community are concerned about the appointment’s impact on Israel’s existence.
Even before the election, pro-Israel Democratic politicians warned Netanyahu against including Ben-Gvir in a coalition if he won, despite Ben-assurances Gvir’s that he no longer holds the same views he did in his youth.
These politicians included Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.).
But the Coalition for Jewish Values, made up of Orthodox rabbis in America, criticized the administration for applying a double standard to Ben-Gvir while supporting anti-Semitic extremists in the Palestinian Authority with money from American taxpayers.