Liberman rips 'nutty' Otzma Yehudit candidate

Former Defense Minister Liberman, Otzma Yehudit candidate Ben-Gvir take jabs at each other's personalities, political beliefs.

Shimon Cohen ,

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman

In an interview Tuesday morning with Israel's Channel 12, former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) responded to questions regarding his statement that Otzma Yehudit candidate attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir is a Shabak (Israel Security Agency) agent.

Liberman did not apologize promptly and Ben-Gvir is currently suing.

"He doesn't interest me," Liberman said. "He's a crazy person. The entire group is nutty."

He added that the group "are nutty people. They bring everything bad that they can. They smear the entire right. They're an awful disaster."

When reminded that Ben-Gvir and the Otzma Yehudit party may be part of the next government, Liberman responded, "What's certain is that they won't be in the next government."

Liberman also claimed that Otzma Yehudit "are the worst thing for the right, from a religious perspective as well."

"When we went to Ashdod to protest against the closure of minimarkets on Shabbat (the Sabbath -ed.), who was there to counter-protest, who tried to provoke us? [Otzma Yehudit candidates Dr.] Michael Ben-Ari and Baruch Marzel."

Responding to Liberman on Tuesday morning, Ben-Gvir said, "Liberman is stressed out, all of the polls are showing that Liberman's voters are moving towards supporting the New Right. Liberman has been revealed as a chatterbox and a scaredy-cat Defense Minister who was unable to decide how much wafers should cost at the army canteen, and who certainly was not able to be involved in any significant decision."

"Liberman tries to paint himself as a rightist, but it's clear to everyone that he's an opportunist who wakes up in the morning and decides whether he's on the right or left based on the newest poll. Liberman doesn't pass the electoral threshold and he puts the right-wing bloc at serious risk, since a lot of his voters believe him to be a rightist when in reality he is a zigzagger who lacks an ideological backbone."

Regarding the issue of whether stores should be closed on Shabbat, Ben-Gvir responded, "I am proud to lead the struggle to protect the State of Israel's Jewish character. Liberman needs to understand that when he works for and calls for Shabbat desecration, he hurts not only religious Jews - he hurts the traditional Jews and weaker neighborhoods even more, since these people are forced to work on Shabbat. Liberman needs to understand that they also have the right to enjoy Shabbat with their families."