“Ben-Gvir and Hamas have a common interest: To set the country on fire,” Knesset Member Ben-Barak told Radio Jerusalem.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
After a defiant Religious Zionism lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir visited the Temple Mount on Thursday, despite an uptick in terror, a left-wing member of Knesset accused him of sharing a common goal with the Hamas terror group.
Ben-Gvir’s visit was uneventful and there were no violent disturbances or clashes reported. Nevertheless, Yesh Atid MK and former deputy head of the Mossad Ram Ben-Barak said it was a mistake that he was permitted to enter the compound.
“Ben-Gvir and Hamas have a common interest: To set the country on fire,” Ben-Barak told Radio Jerusalem on Thursday morning. “As far as Ben-Gvir is concerned, if the visit goes smoothly, it will be a missed opportunity.”
Ben-Barak, who serves as head of the Knesset’s Foreign Relations committee, added he was “very happy that the visit happened peacefully” but emphasized that if he “were the police commissioner, I would have made a different decision.”
Hamas’ fundamental principles include the destruction of the State of Israel and killing Jews. While Ben-Barak’s liberal perspective is clearly at odds with Ben-Gvir’s nationalist, conservative standpoint, the remarks from the left-wing lawmaker are unprecedented.
Notably, Ben-Barak has never publicly criticized MKs from the anti-Zionist Arab Joint List party, some of whom called for Arab youths to take to the streets and riot during the tense period leading up to Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021.
On Tuesday, Ben-Gvir announced that if he were to be prevented from ascending to the Temple Mount over fears of a violent Muslim reaction, such a move would signal “capitulation and surrender to terror.”
While Ben-Gvir has long been criticized as a provocateur by centrist and left-wing lawmakers, he has stated that his priority is strengthening Israeli sovereignty and protecting Jews.
In February 2022, Ben-Gvir established a temporary parliamentary office in front of the home of a Jewish family that was repeatedly firebombed in the flashpoint Shimon HaTzadik (Sheikh Jarrah) neighborhood.
He was forcibly evacuated from the area in violation of his parliamentary immunity by Israeli police, and during a physical struggle he fainted.