“We are the only ones who make demands which are ideological,” said Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir.
By Aaron Sull, World Israel News
The leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party threatened on Wednesday that his party will stay in the political race if his demands are not met by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“We know that Otzma is the only party who will protect the right. We are the only ones who make demands which are ideological,” said party leader Itamar Ben Gvir.
“Yesterday evening we were in Sderot and met with dozens of Otzma Yehudit activists who demanded that we run in order to have someone who promotes right-wing policies in the Knesset, and does not abandon the south,” he said.
Ben Gvir demanded that the following demands be met: The cancellation of the Oslo Accords, changing the composition of the committee for the appointment of judges, and taking away the Islamic Waqf’s control over the Temple Mount.
“We hereby inform the Prime Minister that if he so deeply cares about a right-wing government, [only] if he meets the conditions which are the key things we want to promote in the Knesset, Otzma Yehudit can withdraw,” he said.
Ben Gvir also said that in the past months he had refused to take any “tempting jobs” offered to him by Netanyahu in exchange for dropping out, such as ministerial positions and an ambassadorship.
For months Netanyahu and other right-wing leaders have urged Otzma Yehudit to drop out because if not it will hurt the overall chances of the right from forming a government as it did in the last election.
Recent polls are showing that Otzma Yehudit is expected to get 1.5% of the vote, well below the 3.25% threshold needed to enter the Knesset.
In an interview with Army Radio last month, Netanyahu urged voters not to support Otzma Yehudit because their failure to pass the electoral threshold will damage his chances of forming a coalition.
“I urge him [Ben Gvir] to retire so no one will waste votes on him. With these votes we win the elections and form the right-wing government,” Netanyahu said.
Don’t vote for Itamar Ben Gvir. It’s a loss of 80,000 votes,” he added.
According to the party’s platform, Otzma Yehudit advocates sovereignty over all lands captured during the Six-Day War, supports the emigration of non-Jews from the Jewish State and the expelling Palestinians and Israeli Arabs who refuse to declare loyalty to Israel, and calls for the complete destruction of Israel’s enemies.