Death Threats Follow Minister’s Condolence Call to Family of Burned Teen

Amir Peretz visits Abu Khdeir mourners' tent in Shoafat - and Facebook users call for his assassination.

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Environmental Protection Minister Amir PeretzCredit: Tess Scheflan
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

Dozens of calls for assassination and hundreds of comments inciting to racism and violence were made over the past two days on the Facebook page of Amir Peretz (Hatnuah), the minister of environmental protection. This followed a post on his Facebook timeline about his visit to the mourners’ tent in Shoafat put up by the family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, who was kidnapped and burnt alive last week, allegedly by Jewish terrorists.

Peretz is the only government minister to visit the tent so far. Other public figures who were asked to go there cancelled their visits when the Shin Bet security service opposed them out of fear for their safety. “Today I went to the mourners’ tent of the family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir in Shoafat,” Peretz wrote. “I expressed my condolences and said that price tag gangs, which lead to incitement and extremist acts, must be dealt with at any price. I added that the perpetrators of this murder, who are beasts in human form, must be dealt with as terrorists and by using all the means taken against terrorists, and that the demolition of their homes must be considered.”

Many of the hundreds of comments expressed support for Peretz’s condolence visit. But many commenters also used Peretz’s post as a platform for incitement to racism and violence, including explicit calls to assassinate him and murder his family, support for the murder of Abu Khdeir and for additional murders of Arabs.

One Facebook user, Amit Sharon, commented on the post as follows: “Amir Peretz, you bastard, I hope that your children, your family, will be murdered.” Another user, Tal Kimhi, wrote, “Get out of the Knesset. I hope you are slaughtered, you stupid leftist.” Natalie and Avishai Emek wrote: “They did a good thing. If only all Jews would do something like that — for every Jew murdered, a Jew should murder an Arab. Then they will feel it even though they don’t care. Those who killed the Arab — I am proud of them. Good job!”

Ben Bahanovich added: “Keep on visiting those sluts. We won’t be surprised if they kidnap you too, you bastard — Ben Bahanovich.” Avi Mizrahi wrote: “Don’t worry! God will put you on his black list too, you filth! Ariel Sharon, Yitzhak Rabin and the rest have been punished already.... You will be punished too!”

The security officer of the Environmental Protection Ministry reported the threatening comments to the Shin Bet, and a complaint was filed with police.

Roughly 350 members of Tag Meir, a group that fights against hate crime, visited the mourners’ tent in Shoafat yesterday. “We are the second generation of Holocaust survivors, and for us the combination of the murder and the burning is particularly horrific,” said Dr. Gadi Gvaryahu, one of the group’s leaders. “Anyone who ignores the burning of mosques and churches should not be surprised when human beings are burned as well.”