Gay Arab-Israeli social media star supports Ben Gvir, ‘not just thinking about myself’

“Ben Gvir is going to expel terror supporters, so I’m certainly not a target,” Maya Jeries said. 

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

An Arab-Israeli social media star sparked a firestorm of controversy after publicly declaring her support for the Religious Zionism party and MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, with one Instagram user charging that the celebrity voted for someone who views her as an enemy.

Maya Jeries, an influencer and model, posted a photo on Instagram from inside of a polling place on election day in early November, holding a ballot for the Religious Zionism party.

Jeries, a lesbian who rose to fame after dating Israeli pop star Ella-Lee Lahav, wrote that she knew people would question her choice of party, due to a perception of the Religious Zionism party being anti-gay and anti-Arab.

“Why did I vote for Ben Gvir? There are some who will say that he’s against the [LGBT] community, but at this point, I’m not just thinking about myself,” she wrote as a caption to her voting booth photo.

“I am totally thinking about [what’s best for] the soldiers and national security. And I think a man [like Ben Gvir] can provide us with that. Our soldiers are watching over us 24/7 and they need their rights [to act against terrorists] and after that, we can deal with everything else.

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“Think about soldier’s rights above all. Period.”

Jeries then posted a series of angry responses from fans, some of whom said they would no longer follow her on the platform due to her political orientation.

“Someone wake her up already. Tell her that she is Arab and that if he is elected she becomes a target for him and will be expelled from the country as soon as he gets some power in his hands,” wrote one Instagram user.

Jeries didn’t let the attack go unanswered, replying publicly to the commenter.

“First of all, let me correct you,” she wrote. “As an Arab who lives in Israel, I am a citizen with full rights…I am a Christian…and I served in the IDF and I will do everything for my country, including fighting for it.

“So if you think I’m going to become ‘Ben Gvir’s target’ then you better think twice. Ben Gvir is going to expel terror supporters, so I’m certainly not a target.”

After the controversy died down, Jeries wrote a post praising her loyal fans for supporting her.

“It’s a shame that people choose to attack and unfollow me just because I expressed my opinion. But what can we do?

“My followers who chose to stay with me, you are my strength, unequivocally, and I believe wholeheartedly that the smart people here [will support] me until the end.”

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According to polls, a substantial number of secular Israelis voted for the Religious Zionism party due to its tough stance on security.

Ben Gvir recently clarified that he takes issue with terrorists and their supporters, not law-abiding Arab Israelis.