‘Make Big Brother Ortho­dox-friendly’

The Jewish Chronicle - - World News - BY NATHAN JEFFAY

USU­ALLY, WHEN set­tler ac­tivists cry foul over hous­ing, it is be­cause they can­not get per­mits to build in the West Bank. But in the lat­est saga on Is­rael’s far right, the bone of con­tention is the op­por­tu­nity to live in a lux­ury man­sion close to Is­rael’s cen­tre.

The man­sion that Ita­mar Ben-Gvir leader of the Jewish Na­tional Front, hope­d­to­movein­tois­the­setof Is­raeliBig Brother. But the pro­duc­ers who of­fered him a place did not ac­cept his pre­con­di­tions.Th­e­sein­clud­e­d­room­swhere­could stay on Shab­bat to avoid trans­gres­sion by ap­pear­ing on film, kosher cook­ing fa­cil­i­ties and a sup­ply of minyan-mak­ing ex­tras to en­sure that he could pray three times a day with a quo­rum.

MrBen-Gviris­not­the­most­pop­u­lar po­lit­i­cal fig­ures, con­sid­ered ex­treme even by the hard-right. The He­bron­based set­tler is a self-de­fined dis

ciple of Meir Ka­hane, right­ist rabbi and politi­cian whose Kach party was deemed racist and banned in 1986.

But when Big Brother’s pro­duc­ers ap­proached him with an of­fer of a place in the pro­gramme’s new sea­son in De­cem­ber, he de­cided it could be his route to main­stream ac­cep­tance. “The Is­raeli me­dia is usu­ally very left-wing, so if I was in the house it would give a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive,” he said.

Even though it looks as if he will not be tak­ing res­i­dence, he is call­ing upon pro­duc­ers to make Big Brother frum­friendly so that other re­li­gious peo­ple can. Keshet, the net­work that com­mis­sions Big Brother, is not rul­ing out the pos­si­bil­ity. Its spokes­woman said that his re­jec­tion was “noth­ing to do with his [re­li­gious] re­quests”.


Right wing ac­tivist Ita­mar Ben-Gvir

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