New details have emerged regarding the coalition agreement between the Likud and Otzma Yehudit parties which are likely to satisfy right-wing figures such as Bentzi Gopstein, Baruch Marzel, and Dr. Michael Ben Ari.
Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has acceded to the demand of Otzma Yehudit head and National Security Minister-designate Itamar Ben-Gvir to cancel Clause 7A of the Basic Law: Knesset, which prevents anyone who incites toward racism or who negates the existence of Israel as a Jewish-democratic state from running for the Knesset.
As it stands, this clause bars anyone from running for the Knesset if their aim or their party's aim (whether explicit or implied) is to deny the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. Individuals or parties which act toward the same goal, or which incite toward racism are likewise barred from running for national public office.
It was Clause 7A that was cited by the Supreme Court when invalidating the candidacies of several of Ben-Gvir's close associates -- Baruch Marzel, Bentzi Gopstein, and Dr. Ben Ari. In explaining why he is insisting that the clause be repealed, Ben-Gvir noted that to date, it has only been used against Jews and that not a single non-Jewish inciter or racist has been barred from running for a Knesset seat under its provisions.
An additional clause in Otzma Yehudit's agreement with Likud will see Ben-Gvir appointed as acting chairman of the ministerial committee for legislation. "Just as we promised our voters we would, we have done everything possible to establish an entirely right-wing government which will restore governance and pride to the Jewish People, a government which will support our soldiers and police officers in their important battle," Ben-Gvir said.
"It is so very symbolic that during the festival of Hanukkah, a festival that symbolizes the spreading of light, we are establishing a right-wing government in order to keep our promises to our voters and to protect our soldiers and police who battle on our behalf -- a government that will benefit the entire Jewish People," he added.