Israeli Activist Questioned Over Alleged Threats to Gantz After Posting Photo of Tattoo

The woman shared on Twitter the picture of a tattoo portraying a heart pierced by a dagger and said it symbolized her disappointment after Gantz decided to join Netanyahu's government

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Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on Tuesday, June 17, 2020.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on Tuesday, June 17, 2020.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

The Israeli Police questioned under caution an activist for allegedly threatening Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Science Minister Yizhar Shai, after she tweeted a picture featuring a tattoo of her heart pierced by a dagger.

Many supporters of the Yesh Atid party, the main party in the opposition, resent Benny Gantz for breaking up the Kahol Lavan alliance with it and joining a government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The picture posted by a Yesh Atid activist on Twitter.Credit: Twitter screenshot

On Wednesday, the woman was questioned for an hour at the Gelilot Police Station over posts she published on social media, in which she called Gantz and Shai traitors while sharing a photo of her pierced-heart tattoo. She was released on bail and barred from going anywhere near Gantz or Shai.

"Your deceptive treachery bereft of any principles or values will not be forgiven or forgotten.  Don’t get too comfortable in the upholstered arm chair," the 51-year-old activist, a resident of the Sharon region in central Israel, wrote in response to a tweet by Shai. She attached an illustration she said she had tattooed on her body after Gantz's party joined the government.

In addition, she tagged Gantz in another tweet, also including the picture of her tattoo. “This is what you did to us all. It’s a disgrace. We didn’t vote for you and persuade people through three election campaigns so that you could toss everything down the drain,” she wrote.

The activist told Haaretz that Gantz and Shai filed a police complaint against her, expressing her shock that she was called in for questioning.

“I got this tattoo on my own body, how is that a threat?” she said. “I didn’t say anything that could threaten them. But I was treated like a criminal; they took my fingerprints and photographed me. I got the tattoo after what they did to me.

“After their treachery I sat at home and cried for two weeks because I felt deceived and the tattoo symbolizes how hurt I was. We’ve become a police state.  Does Benny Gantz have nothing better to do besides going after me? I gave them a year of my life, I followed them and they stabbed me in the heart, so that makes me a threat? I’m not capable of harming a fly, so I expressed what I felt in the tweet. So that’s a reason to question me? It was a shocking experience.”  

Gantz’s office denied he had filed a complaint against the activist. Shai said he is not familiar with her, adding that the “unit responsible for the safety of ministers is also responsible for threats made on social media against them. Unfortunately, there are many cases of bullying and violence online. My family members and I have also received threats on our lives in recent months, as did other Kahol Lavan ministers and lawmakers. I assume that security personnel examined the issue and decided to file a complaint.”

Shin Bet sources said they weren’t involved in the complaint. The police said in response that “After receiving a complaint of suspected threats, we launched an investigation into the matter with the aim of verifying the facts. We will not go into any further details regarding ongoing investigations.”

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