The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization on Monday threatened the controversial Otzma Yehudit party leader Itamar Ben-Gvir, saying he will “suffer the same fate” as an Israeli tourism minister who was assassinated in October 2001.
Islamic Jihad likened Ben-Gvir to right-wing Moledet party founder Rehavam Ze’evi — who “carried the ideology of a transfer and expulsion of the Arabs from the land of Palestine and as a result, he was expelled from life by Palestinians,” the terrorist group stated. Zeevi was murdered by Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist Hamdi Quran.
Ben-Gvir—who is set to assume the newly created position of national security minister in prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu’s forthcoming government—responded that Islamic Jihad’s threat “will not deter me.”
“We are committed to restoring security to Israel’s citizens,” he said. “The time has come to form a fully right-wing government so that we can crush the Islamic Jihad.”
Ben-Gvir’s ascension has split many in the American Jewish community. Last week, Union of Reform Judaism President Rick Jacobs said that appointing Ben-Gvir to a public security role is like “appointing David Duke, one of the leaders of the antisemitic Ku Klux Klan, as Attorney General,” adding that he and the American Reform community are concerned over Israel’s existence with such an appointment.
Concern over the inclusion of the ultra-right wing former Kahanist Kach party member began even before the election, as pro-Israel Democratic politicians such as Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) warned Netanyahu against including Ben-Gvir in a coalition should he win, despite Ben-Gvir promising that he no longer holds the same views he held in his youth.
But Orthodox rabbis in America who make up the Coalition for Jewish Values called out the administration for their double standard against Ben-Gvir while continuing to use American taxpayer dollars to fund antisemitic extremists in the Palestinian Authority.