Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon commented Friday on the inciting images of him distributed by Likud activists, saying "I have no intention of folding or yielding in the struggle over the character of the State of Israel and Israeli society."
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According to Ya'alon, "After various extremist fringe groups tried to portray me as an enemy of Israel, a new stage came (that shouldn't have surprised anyone), the distribution of images inciting against me. This will not aid them in their efforts."
Likud activists have started sending the party's WhatsApp group photos accompanied by text calling for the political elimination of, following his criticism of the soldier who shot to death an immobilized terrorist in Hebron two weeks ago.
The photos show Ya’alon in crosshairs, under which is written “politically eliminated!” The text further states that the defense minister had harsh words for supporters of the soldier, and that the Likud Central Committee would respond by "assassinating" Ya’alon in the next primaries.
Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu also commented on the incitement aimed at the minister of defense and said that it was "an unacceptable act and a crossing of a red line." According to Netanyahu "Public debate must take place in a respectful and to-the-point manner and attacks of this kind have no place in it."
In the post Ya'alon posted on his Facebook page, Ya'alon wrote "I will struggle and continue to struggle for a just, sane and moral State of Israel. One that relentlessly fights those who would harm it with an iron fist, but on the other hand one that doesn't lose its values and isn't morally dulled. We must keep society sane and advanced that cherishes life, that is scrupulously ruled by law under the supervision of the court, that fights violence, racism and the exclusion of the other just for being different."
"It isn't a matter of right- or left-wing politics – it is our future and our children's future. It bears on the question of what country we wish to live in: A country that is part of the family of nations, Jewish and democratic, modern and tolerant, or a country that is descending into dangerous and destructive realms."
The minister of defense has been the only politician in the right to come out against the actions of the shooting soldier and the public and political campaign backing him. Netanyahu and Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, on the other hand, both called the soldier's family and lent his support.
Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked criticized the soldier's "drumhead court-martial." MK Avigdor Lieberman and MK Oren Hazan showed up at his court hearing to lend their support.