'Leftist Traitor' Graffiti Sprayed Near anti-Netanyahu Protester's Home

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Graffiti reading 'leftist traitor' near anti-Netanyahu activist Zvi Paltiel's home in Ness Ziona, Israel, December 12 2020.
Graffiti reading 'leftist traitor' near anti-Netanyahu activist Zvi Paltiel's home in Ness Ziona, Israel, December 12 2020.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg

An Israeli activist reported that graffiti reading "leftist traitor" was sprayed near his home on Monday, marking another violent incident against anti-Netanyahu protestors.

The activist, Zvi Paltiel, had an anti-Netanyahu banner reading "Leave" hanging near his home in the city of Nes Tziona.

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The "Leave" slogan is one of the symbols of the protest movement against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling on him to resign over three corruption cases.

Graffiti was also found on other streets featuring anti-Netanyahu signs. Last week, stickers with similar slogans were tagged on the front doors of anti-Netanyahu activists. Police later closed the investigation due to lack of suspicion of criminal conduct.

"We're used to 'leftist traitors' graffiti, but in this case it's more personal. If this is where a leftist traitor lives then you know what you need to do to him. Netanyahu supporters call me by my name on their loudspeakers. I'm a marked man," Paltiel said.

President Reuven Rivlin said on Monday morning that "to hang signs on people's homes, marking them as traitors, is a dreadful step and we must not remain silent in the face of it." He added that that term "'traitors' is sadly these days being used by many" on both sides of the political aisle.

Paltiel added that Netanyahu supporters did not show up for the weekly counter-protest on Saturday but that "they probably changed strategy. I informed the police of the graffiti, and I will likely file a complaint."

Graffiti targeting anti-Netanyahu protesters in the city of Ness Ziona, Israel, December 13 2020.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

The police is now checking footage from security cameras in the area. Paltiel said that he accepts the opinion of the State Prosecutor's Office  that the phrase "leftist traitors" does not constitute incitement to violence.

Paltiel said that this, however, "crosses a line when it is personally addressed." 

In past weeks, threats directed at anti-Netanyahu protesters in Nes Tziona have intensified. The son of one of the activists said that two Netanyahu supporters followed him after he walked out of his parents' house.

Hadas Inbar, a prominent activist who lives in a neighborhood that was targeted by graffiti, said "our city is laced with cameras, so they certainly saw something, but they've never shown us the footage."

Organizers of the Black Flag protest movement commented: "It was revealed last week that in past months there have been over 400 instances of assaults on protesters by Netanyahu supporters. A large portion of assaults took place in areas experiencing "leftist traitors" campaigns."

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