Otzma Yehudit chairman MK Itamar Ben-Gvir expressed admiration for Rabbi Meir Kahane, even as he distanced himself from some of the late leader’s policies.
Speaking in a panel discussion with Channel 13, Ben-Gvir said that Rabbi Kahane’s portrait will remain displayed in his home, even though he disagrees with the Kach founder’s call to transfer Israel’s Arab population out of the country.
“Why are the bookshelves in your home filled with Rabbi Kahane’s books?” Arik Weiss asked Ben-Gvir.
“And you also have his picture on your wall – a man who said that we must transfer the Arabs out of here, a person who said that intermarriage between Arabs and Jews should be illegal.”
“It seems you realized you had to become more moderate,” Weiss continued.
The Otzma Yehudit chief responded by saying that his views on Rabbi Kahane are nuanced.
“What amazes me,” Ben-Gvir said, “is how you people are such extremists. You aren’t able to accept nuances. You asked me about Rabbi Kahane and his picture on the wall in my house. Yes, I think he was a hero who fight on behalf of Soviet Jews, and yes, I think he was a hero when he fought antisemitism in the US and also when he pushed for the death penalty against terrorists.”
“But…I don’t support expelling all of the Arabs, and I’ve said that an endless number of times, that I don’t agree with Rabbi Kahane about making separate beaches.”