Likud MK posts Herzog's Knesset office number online after refugee comments

Herzog, after receiving criticism for his statement from several other MKs, responded on his personal Facebook page: "You have forgotten what it means to be Jewish. Refugees. Persecuted."

September 6, 2015 15:14
2 minute read.
herzog speaking to reporters

herzog . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog has faced backlash from several MKs for comments he made on Saturday in support of allowing refugees from Syria to enter Israel. Likud MK Nava Boker took to her Facebook page to call out Herzog.

"Dear Syrian refugees, upon your arrival to Israel, please contact MK Issac Herzog for accommodations," she posted, along with Herzog's number at the Knesset.

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"You will be transferred to a comfortable home in the Tzahala neighborhood in Tel Aviv," she joked.

However, not everyone was laughing.

In response to the criticism, Herzog took to Facebook to blast those who do not share his sentiments:

"You have forgotten what it means to be Jewish. Refugees. Persecuted."

Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Herzog's bid to open Israel's borders to refugees less than enthusiastically.

“We have conscientiously treated thousands of wounded from the fighting in Syria, and we have helped them rebuild their lives," Netanyahu said. “But Israel is a very small country, with neither demographic or geographic depth, and therefore we must control our borders.”

In his Facebook post, Herzog criticized Netanyahu for his lack of sensitivity as the Jewish Prime Minister.

"Prime Minister of the Jewish people, do not close your heart and gates when people are fleeing persecution with their children in their arms," he said.

"After the establishment of the first government in the State of Israel, Menachem Begin took in Vietnam refugees. He would be turning in his grave," he added.

"I suggest you look at the need for responsibility in the current reality. In this case, to act as part of a concerted international aid effort to offer a limited and controlled number of refugees entrance for humanitarian reasons."

"Additionally, we need to save our brothers in Syria and the Druse who are being slaughtered and are in terrible distress "

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked related to the issue on her way into the cabinet meeting Sunday, telling reporters that Israel, as a democratic country, cannot take in a massive number of refugees. “The country gives humanitarian aid, but absorbing refugees will be done in Turkey or Jordan, but not in the State of Israel.”

Immigration and Absorption Minister Ze'ev Elkin said that Herzog's proposal, like that of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to absorb refugees in the West Bank, is an “attempt to bring the 'right of return' through the back door. That is not responsible, and it is forbidden that it should happen.”

Europe has pledged to open its doors to tens of thousands of refugees fleeing ISIS. This week, Germany and Austria allowed over 15,000 migrants to enter their borders. England and other EU countries have also stated they will soon allow the flow of refugees through their borders as well.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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