Netanyahu: No Room for Comparison Between Jewish and Arab Terror

Prime minister says 'there's a difference between Israeli society's healthy attitude and the PA's, which encourages terror.'

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sits next to Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon at a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, November 2015
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon in a cabinet meeting, November 2015. Ya'alon's persistence wins out over the PM's procrastination. Credit: Emil Salman

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed Sunday that despite the arson-murder of a Palestinian family and recent reports of growing Jewish extremism, there was no room for comparison between Jewish acts of terrorism and Arab acts of terror.

"There is a difference between Arab terror and Jewish terror," Netanyahu said at the beginning of the government's weekly meeting. "Here we condemn and they [the Palestinians] praise," the prime minister said.

Netanyahu noted that unlike Jewish terror, which is limited in scope, Arab terror "attacks us incessantly and is wide-spread." According to Netanyahu, while in Israel both the government and informal leaders condemn Jewish terror, in the Palestinian Authority they name squares and streets after terrorists.

"There is a difference between Israeli society's healthy attitude, which condemns terror and works against it, and the Palestinian Authority's, which encourages terror and incites," Netanyahu said. "I suggest we remember these distinctions at a time when we are fighting terror and inciters, wherever they may be."

The ongoing Duma case, in which a group of extremist Jews killed three members of the Palestinian Dawabsheh family, as well as a recent video of wedding celebration of right-wing extremists with rifles, knives and fire bombs, have raised concerns of Jewish radicalism and incitement to violence against Palestinians.

Regarding the "wedding of hate" video, Netanyahu said during last Sunday's meeting that it was "important to clarify to what extent this group is radical and on the fringe [of Israeli society] that does not represent Religious Zionism."

"As proof we can see the clear statements made by political leaders and rabbis against them. To try to link between Religious Zionism and this group is a grave injustice to a very large public," the prime minister said.

Netanyahu also noted that Shin Bet, currently facing anger from parts of the right for claims it was torturing suspected Jewish terrorists, "is doing important work, and is acting according to the law and under legal oversight and according to government policy to combat terror."