The world is worried about the extreme right Ben-Gvir. President of Israel | news
Israel’s election last week means far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir is set to join Netanyahu’s new government.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog has been caught saying the “whole world is worried” about newly elected lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir’s far-right positions.
Herzog was conferring with the ultra-Orthodox Shas party on last week’s election when his comment about Ben-Gvir: An ultra-nationalist is going to become a minister In Benjamin Netanyahu’s new cabinet, he was caught with a microphone that appears to have been turned off.
“You have a partner who is worried about the whole world around us. I told him that too,” Herzog was heard saying at the end of Wednesday’s meeting.
“You’re going to have a problem with the Temple Mount. It is a critical issue,” Herzog said, referring Al-Aqsa Mosque complexwhere far-right Israelis have repeatedly entered over the past few years, violating long-agreed norms on access.
Herzog’s office later reiterated that the president had discussed those concerns directly with Ben-Gvir.
Ben-Gvir, who heads the far-right Jewish Power party, is expected to be in former prime minister Netanyahu’s new government after winning elections last week.
He is best known as a Palestinian-hating, far-right provocateur.
In 2007, he was convicted of inciting racism, destroying property, possessing propaganda material for a “terrorist” organization, and supporting a “terrorist” organization; Meir Kahane’s banned Kach groupwhich he joined at the age of 16.
He recently expressed interest in becoming police minister, raising alarm among Palestinians about a possible increase in violence.
Netanyahu’s new government is likely to be one of the most right-wing in Israel’s history.
Local media quoted Ben-Gvir as saying that he had “very productive conversations” with the president and that he intends to explain the positions of his Jewish Power party.
The president’s consultations with political parties will continue in the coming days. His office said he will vote on Sunday to form a government.
Last week’s election was the fifth in less than four years. Along with smaller far-right and religious parties, his Likud party won 64 seats in the 120-seat parliament, giving Netanyahu a solid majority and easing the process of forming a government.
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