Otzma Yehudit looks to attorney-turned radio host to lead party

Right-wing faction hoping to cross threshold in upcoming election offers prominent defense attorney-turned radio host party chairmanship.

Hezki Baruch,

Yoram Sheftel and Itamar Ben-Gvir at 2016 press conference on Duma trial
Yoram Sheftel and Itamar Ben-Gvir at 2016 press conference on Duma trial
Flash90

The Otzma Yehudit party has offered attorney and radio host Yoram Sheftel chairmanship of the faction ahead of this year’s Knesset election.

Sheftel, widely regarded as one of Israel’s top defense attorneys, also hosts a popular radio show in which he airs his staunchly pro-Zionist, right-wing views.

The show has been compared to American radio programs hosted by Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and Mark Levin.

Sheftel, who represented former IDF soldier Elor Azariya during the sentencing phase of the manslaughter trial for the killing of a wounded Arab terrorist in 2016, gained notoriety in the 1980s as the defense attorney for John Demjanjuk.

The Otzma Yehudit party, led by former Kach activists Baruch Marzel, Michael Ben-Ari, and attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, is associated with the ideology of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane.

After he received the offer to lead the party, Sheftel said he would seriously consider it.

Otzma Yehudit, which narrowly missed the electoral threshold in 2015 on a joint ticket with the Yahad party, is polling just below the electoral threshold ahead of the April 9th elections. A new poll released Sunday shows Otzma Yehudit receiving 3% of the vote - a quarter of a percent below the 3.25% minimum threshold.




top