Bennett: Personal Attacks on Defense Minister Put Israel 'In Danger'

Right-wing activists circulated threatening cartoons of Ya'alon depicting him with a red target around his head.

Ministers Ya'alon and Bennett at the Knesset, 2014.
Olivier Fitoussi

Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday denounced attacks by right-wing activists against Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon for his criticism of a soldier filmed shooting a prone Palestinian attacker to death in Hebron.

Right-wing activists circulated threatening cartoons of Ya'alon over the weekend on WhatsApp, depicting him with a red target around his head and urging he be "politically eliminated."

Ya'alon has been targeted as one of the most outspoken of Israeli officials against the March 24 shooting of which he told the Knesset a few days later, "this is a case of a soldier who has transgressed and not a hero." 

Bennett said in a speech to a religious schools forum that he disagreed with those who were judging the soldier before the military tribunal reaches a verdict, and added that he has differed with Ya'alon "on more than one occasion."

A photo distributed on Likud's WhatsApp group calling for Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's political assassination.
Screenshot

"But not for a moment to I forget who this man is," Bennett said. "A man who has devoted his life to Israel's defense, and woe be to those who incite against him.

"Disagreement among brothers is inevitable, but hateful disagreement or personal disagreement is dangerous and puts us all at risk," Bennett said. 

Bennett said some of the acrimonious dialogue between right and left in Israel "has crossed some red lines" and that "the domestic incitement, the threats, the racism from right and left put our common house in danger."