Ben-Gvir demands Lapid expel party member over Hitler comparison

“You have crossed the last red line,” Ben Gvir tweeted on Saturday night. “I demand Yair Lapid announce Ram Ben Barak’s expulsion from the party this evening.”

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Otzma Yehudi leader MK Itamar Ben-Gvir slammed Yesh Atid after one of its MKs compared the right-wing politician’s rising popularity to Adolf Hitler.

“You have crossed the last red line,” Ben Gvir tweeted on Saturday night. “I demand Yair Lapid announce Ram Ben Barak’s expulsion from the party this evening.”

Yesh Atid MK Ram Ben Barak, who was speaking at a Shabbat event in Beersheba on Saturday, said of Ben-Gvir, “I am not comparing this to anything, but Hitler also rose to power in a democratic manner.”

Ben Barak, who chairs the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee asserted that “the first law passed in such a [right wing] government would be to declare the High Court of Justice null and void.”

Ben Barak added, “The cooperation between Ben-Gvir and Smotrich’s racist, anti-democratic party and Netanyahu, who will do anything to escape his trials, is extremely dangerous.”

Ben-Gvir is the number two person in the Religious Zionism party and leads its Otzma Yehudit faction. Public opinion polls indicate that Religious Zionism may nearly double its number of Knesset seats from six to thirteen.

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In August, Netanyahu brokered an agreement for Otzma Yehudit to merge its list with Religious Zionism, with MK Betzalel Smotrich being the party’s overall leader.

Smotrich recently proposed controversial reforms to the judiciary that would potentially terminate legal proceedings against Netanyahu.

Likud says it will study Smotrich’s proposals, and insisted that any reforms would not be retroactively applied to Netanyahu.

In a followup tweet on Saturday, Ben Barak clarified that he “would never compare anyone in Israel and the world to Hitler,” but insisted, “we must protect our democracy.”