(photo credit: Courtesy/Regavim)
The government can prevent Jewish attacks on Arabs by taking “legitimate” revenge for Palestinian terrorism, MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.
“Presumably, if the State of Israel had not been influenced by twisted Christian morals and had not erased the word ‘revenge’ from its lexicon, and would have done it [revenge] in legitimate ways and deterred the enemy, we would not have encountered these difficult cases of private people taking the law and the revenge into their own hands,” he said.
The day after Smotrich wrote not taking revenge is a Christian value, Jews read the Torah portion of Kedoshim, in which it says: “Do not take revenge and do not hold a grudge against members of your nation...”
Smotrich has previously courted controversy on many occasions, including when he said Jews who murdered an Arab family in Duma are not terrorists and recently, when he supported segregated maternity wards, saying his wife would not want to share a room with an Arab woman.
The statement about revenge was part of a long post in which Smotrich responded to a speech by Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan, who lamented finding traces of “horrific processes which developed in Europe – particularly in Germany – 70, 80, and 90 years ago” among Israelis.
According to Smotrich, in the Israel-Arab conflict “mistakes and even crimes by our side as part of this war that target our enemy are not connected to the memory of the Holocaust and its lessons.
“Unacceptable steps of revenge, like the murder of the boy Muhammad Abu Khdeir and the murders in Duma (if it was actually perpetrated by Jews) are severe and should not have happened, but they do not come from racism, which means hating the other just because he is the other, or from someone in Israeli society wanting to destroy the Arab nation. They come from anger and a hope for revenge, which are justified in and of themselves, on the background of the animosity and the war of destruction the Arabs are waging against us.”
Smotrich said revenge is “an important value and moral,” but it is the state’s job to uphold the law and not the individual.
Thus, he said, the Duma and Abu Khdeir attacks are “mistakes and even crimes and whoever committed them should be punished, but that is something completely different from anti-Semitic hatred of Jews by people who never needed a reason to kill and hurt Jews. It may look like the same thing, but it really isn’t!”