US-born Jeremy Gimpel, rising star in the Jewish Home party, won top media exposure with Israel’s Channel Two television and said, “The Likud has some wonderful people but is all mixed-up.”
Gimpel is ranked as number 14 on the joint Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home)-Ichud Leumi (National Union) list of candidates for the Knesset. Initial pre-election polls indicated he has little chance of reaching the Knesset, but the joint party’s continuing surge now shows Gimpel is almost assured to become the first American-born MK since the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.
Gimpel has become widely-known to English speakers through the Tuesday Night Live television program, and he made good use of his media skills in the interview with Channel 2.
He praised Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) leader Naftali Bennett “charismatic, young and talented" and a leader who is “returning the soul of the Jewish People to Israeli politics." When asked if he believed that the polls now show he has a good chance of being elected, Gimpel grasped the opportunity to turn the spotlight on the party and not himself.
“We will be the second largest party at the time of the elections,” he said. “There will be Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the Jewish Home at his side. We will watch over the Likud very carefully without all the mix-up of ‘Yes to a Palestinian Authority, no to a Palestinian Authority state, yes to a building freeze in Jerusalem.’”
He then immediately launched an offensive, raising the question, with the obvious answer, of whether the United States and Russia would freeze building in their capitals.
Asked about the difference between the Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party and the Likud, Gimpel showed diplomatic skills, first praising the Likud for "having wonderful people," such as MKs Ze’ev Elkin and Tzipi Hotovely.
He then immediately noted the party is “all mixed-up” and that the Jewish Home party will “maintain the nationalist principles of the Likud.
“In the Likud, there is confusion,” he added. “Sometimes [there is] a building freeze, [it] signs an agreement with Hamas after Pillar of Defense and then Khaled Mashaal arrives [in Gaza]. Oy vey.
“We don’t talk with terrorists. We eliminate terrorists.
“We have to be proud of our positions. This is our country. This is our land, and we have a right to be a free people in our own land.”
Concerning the issue of refusing army orders to expel Jews, he noted that Bennett is an IDF combat officer and that he is against refusing orders. However, he added, “It pains us to expel Jews from their homes—did that help us in Gush Katif?”