Bennett: Both Duma Murderers and Radical Left Deny Israel's Legitimacy

'The radical left promotes the boycott of Israel and then goes and says that the world is boycotting us because of the right,' the minister says.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at a podium, December 2015.
Ofer Vaknin

The radical left in Israel and the right-wing Duma murderers both act out of despair and deny the legitimacy of the State of Israel, Education Minister Naftali Bennett said on Thursday.

The minister's comments come against a background of indictments against the suspected murderers of three members of a Palestinian family in the West Bank village of Duma last year and right-wing attempts to curb the activities of human rights NGOs in Israel.

Israel is divided between the Zionist majority that believes in the state and the minority of pessimistic extremists who don't accept the legitimacy of government institutions, Bennett said, during a lesson to students at the Peres Academic Center in Rehovot.

"Why did they do Duma?" the minister asked rhetorically, answering that "they don't accept the legitimacy of the State of Israel. They despair of persuading the nation about the rightness of their cause and want to bring down the building around us."

The minister went on to equate the extreme right with the radical left, saying "the other side is exactly the same. We see exactly the same dynamic on the radical left; they've given up in despair."

Bennett referred specifically to former Foreign Ministry director general Alon Liel, who met with members of the NGO Breaking the Silence recently, according to reports, and briefed them on how to deal with the criticism of the organization,

"When I see a former director general of the Foreign Ministry meeting with Breaking the Silence and B'Tselem and telling them that we have to pay money to the Arabs to run amok and attack soldiers so the whole world will see the pictures and attack Israel – that's a person who has given up in despair," Bennett said.

The minister added that "the radical left promotes the boycott of Israel and then goes and says that the world is boycotting us because of the right."