MK Itamar Ben-Gvir
MK Itamar Ben-Gvirצילום: דני שם טוב, דוברות הכנסת

Otzma Yehudit party chairman MK Itamar Ben-Gvir called Friday for the passage of legislation enshrining religious liberty and offering exemptions from anti-discrimination laws.

Speaking with Kan Bet Friday morning, Ben-Gvir defended the Religious Zionist Party – which ran on a joint list with Otzma Yehudit and the Noam faction in the November election – from criticism after it was revealed that the RZP had pushed for the inclusion of a religious liberty bill in its coalition agreement with the Likud.

The proposed legislation would protect business owners who decline to offer services due to their personal religious beliefs.

Ben-Gvir lauded RZP chief MK Bezalel Smotrich for insisting on the inclusion of the religious liberty clause in the coalition agreement.

“I want to congratulate my friend Smotrich for demanding – and getting – this.”

Smotrich pushed for the inclusion of the religious liberty clause in the coalition agreement after a Beersheba printing house owner was fined after he declined to accept a commission to print flyers for a gay pride parade.

“We’re talking about this print shop [operator] in Beersheba who was asked to print flyers for the gay pride march, and he said ‘I don’t want to.’ Then all of the sudden, the court slaps him with a fine. Are we sane? What happened to personal freedom? The right of a person over his own business?”

Ben-Gvir added that he would support the use of a religious liberty exemption to allow businesses to decline to offer services for causes he supports.

“Absolutely. If I want to print flyers for a flag march, and the print shop owner tells me he doesn’t want to do it, or ‘I don’t agree,’ that’s his right. The Left talks about democracy, but behaves like it’s the greatest dictatorship there ever was.”