Far-right Ben-Gvir to be Israel’s national security minister

Nov 24, 2022, 12:05 PM | Updated: Nov 25, 2022, 11:45 pm
Israeli far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir arrives at the scene of an explosion at a bus stop in Je...

Israeli far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir arrives at the scene of an explosion at a bus stop in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. Two blasts went off near bus stops in Jerusalem on Wednesday, injuring a dozen of people in what police said were suspected attacks by Palestinians. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

(AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Extremist politician Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has a long record of anti-Arab rhetoric and stunts, will become Israel’s next minister of national security, according to the first of what are expected to be several coalition deals struck by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.

Likud announced the agreement with Ben-Gvir’s Jewish Power party on Friday.

Negotiations with three other potential far-right and ultra-Orthodox coalition partners are ongoing. If successful, Netanyahu would return to the prime minister’s office and preside over the most right-wing and religious government in Israel’s history.

The awarding of the sensitive role to Ben-Gvir raises concerns of a further escalation in Israeli-Palestinian tensions. Ben-Gvir and his allies hope to grant immunity to Israeli soldiers who shoot at Palestinians, deport rival lawmakers and impose the death penalty on Palestinians convicted of attacks on Jews.

Ben-Gvir is the disciple of a racist rabbi, Meir Kahane, who was banned from Parliament and whose Kach party was branded a terrorist group by the United States before he was assassinated in New York in 1990.

Ahead of Israel’s Nov. 1 election, Ben-Gvir grabbed headlines for his anti-Palestinian speeches and stunts, including brandishing a pistol and encouraging police to open fire on Palestinian stone-throwers in a tense Jerusalem neighborhood.

Before becoming a lawyer and entering politics, he was convicted of offenses that include inciting racism and supporting a terrorist organization.

In his new role, he would be in charge of the police, among other things, enabling him to implement some of the hard-line policies against the Palestinians he has advocated for years.

As part of the coalition deal, the current Ministry of Internal Security would be renamed Ministry of National Security and would be given expanded powers, Likud said Friday.

As head of the ministry, Ben-Gvir would oversee the police and the paramilitary border police who operate alongside Israeli soldiers in Palestinian population centers.

Likud lawmaker Yariv Levin praised the agreement, which was signed Thursday, as “the first agreement on the way to establishing a stable right-wing government led by Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Ben-Gvir first entered parliament in 2021, after his Jewish Power party merged with the Religious Zionism party. Ben-Gvir’s closest political ally, Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich, is conducting separate negotiations with Likud, which emerged as the largest party in the elections.

Netanyahu has balked at some of the demands, such as Smotrich seeking the defense ministry. Talks currently focus on the terms under which Smotrich would become finance minister.

___

This story corrects the spelling of lawmaker Yariv Levin’s first name. It is Yariv, not Yaron.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

arrest...
Associated Press

Police: Washington officer shot, wounded while making arrest

Pasco Police in southeast Washington state said one of their officers was shot and wounded Thursday afternoon while making an arrest.
11 hours ago
State hospital...
Associated Press

7 die from flu in Washington state, activity ‘very high’

Flu activity in the state is now considered very high, according to the Washington State Department of Health.
11 hours ago
Associated Press

Austria: 3 men convicted in rape, death of 13-year-old girl

BERLIN (AP) — An Austrian court has convicted three Afghan men for the rape and death of a 13-year-old girl whose body was found dumped next to a tree in Vienna last year in a case that shocked the Alpine nation. The Austria Press Agency reported Friday that the main defendant, a 24-year-old, was found […]
1 day ago
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, from right, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institut...
Associated Press

US targets Russian mercenary group over religious freedom

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Friday placed a well-known Russian paramilitary organization on a list of religious freedom violators alongside a number of notorious terrorist organizations. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced he had designated the Wagner Group as an “entity of particular concern” for its activities in the Central African Republic. Also […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Suspect in killings of 4 at pot farm returned to Oklahoma

KINGFISHER, Okla. (AP) — The man wanted in the shooting deaths of four people and wounding of a fifth at an Oklahoma marijuana farm has been extradited back to the state from Florida, authorities said Friday. Wu Chen, also known as Chen Wu in jail records, was taken from the Miami-Dade County jail Wednesday by […]
1 day ago
FILE - Officers investigate the deaths of four University of Idaho students at an apartment complex...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: Deaths of 4 Idaho students fuel online sleuths

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The deaths of four University of Idaho students nearly three weeks ago has riled up thousands of would-be armchair sleuths, many of whom are posting speculation and unfounded rumors about the fatal stabbings online. Relatively few details have been released in the horrific case that has left the small town of […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Far-right Ben-Gvir to be Israel’s national security minister