And Netanyahu Says He's Against Incitement

Throughout his term - and before - the prime minister has never missed an opportunity to speak of Palestinians as monsters, lacking morals and infinitely brutal.

Nehemia Shtrasler
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a Foreign Affairs Committee meeting, at the Knesset, June 30, 2014. Credit: AP
Nehemia Shtrasler

Netanyahu is opposed to terrorism. He is also opposed to incitement. It is a fact: That is what he said as he left Rachelle Fraenkel’s home two days ago, where he had gone to pay a condolence call on the death of her son, Naftali, who was killed by abominable terrorists.

Netanyahu is sure that we are all stupid. He says that he opposes incitement, and is sure that nobody noticed that he himself is the king of inciters. Day after day, month after month, throughout the years of his government, Netanyahu has never missed an opportunity to speak of Palestinians as monsters, lacking morals and infinitely brutal. Not a week has gone by without him frightening us with warnings that they are rising up against us to murder us. So we cannot talk with them about an agreement, about peace, about life, because they are simply inhuman, they’re not human beings. .

Afterward, he raises his eyes heavenward and condemns the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, saying that it is an atrocious murder and promising to prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law. But his whole government, his entire success at the polls, is based on the surefire recipe of incitement, hatred and fear-mongering.

For those who have forgotten, Netanyahu was the one who harshly condemned the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. But he was also the one who stood on the balcony in Zion Square at that same toxic rally at which Rabin was depicted wearing an S.S. uniform as shouts of “Rabin is a murderer” and “Rabin is a traitor” echoed throughout. He could have come down from the balcony, as David Levy did. He could have spoken up loudly against the inciters and removed them from the demonstration. But he did not. We have also not forgotten who marched at the head of the demonstration at Ra’anana Junction with a coffin on which was written the words “Rabin is putting Zionism to death.”

Who are those six suspected murderers of Mohammed Abu Khdeir? They are not strong people with status and power. They are weak, spineless people, influenced by the words of incitement they hear from Netanyahu, Naftali Bennett, Uri Ariel and Avigdor Lieberman, and from the rabbis and community leaders of the Bnei Akiva movement. They drink in their words thirstily and then go out into the streets of Jerusalem to hunt Arabs, start fights and participate in pogroms. They are well aware that all the leaders can do is talk, so they are the ones who must translate their words into deeds.

They also see how the vaunted police and Shin Bet turn a blind eye and have not found the perpetrators of the “price tag” attacks, the mosque-burners, tire-slashers and graffiti vandals for years. They are well aware that the government closes its eyes and thus encourages their acts. They notice that when Arabs are murdered in the territories, the response is that “the Justice Ministry is investigating,” or that “police are investigating,” but nothing happens. For example, what is happening with the investigation of the killing of the two Arab boys in Bitunya, in which the army claims that its soldiers did not engage in live fire, but bullets were found in their bodies? Whatever happened to the investigation of the death of the Jordanian judge at the Allenby border crossing last March? And what about the investigation of the death of Mohammed Dudin, who was killed by army bullets ten days ago in Dura?

To save something of our honor, the prime minister must pay a condolence call at the home of Hussein Abu Khdeir, the father of the murdered boy, just as he went to the Fraenkel home. A telephone call is not enough. Let him take an example from King Hussein of Jordan, who after the killing of the pupils at Naharayim, cut short an official visit to Spain, flew to Israel, visited the girls’ parents at home in Beit Shemesh and apologized to them on bended knee.

I am opposed to home demolitions in principle. But Netanyahu is in favor of them. So if he really thinks that murder is murder, let him order the homes of the six suspected murderers demolished. After all, just a few days ago the High Court of Justice approved the demolition of the home of Ziad Awad, who is accused of having murdered an off-duty police officer, even before he was formally indicted, let alone convicted. So why wait? According to Netanyahu, terrorism is terrorism, and no difference must be made between one murder victim and another.

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