Bennett: 'Price Tag' biggest threat to settlements

"Every price tag act is immoral and un-Jewish," Bayit Yehudi minister says in Knesset after Abu Ghosh vandalism attack.

June 19, 2013 14:00
2 minute read.
Price tag graffiti in historical Muslim cemetery in downtown Jerusalem, February 14, 2013.

Price Tags February 14 2013. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/ flash90 )


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“Price tag” attacks are immoral and un-Jewish, Religious Services Minister Naftali Bennett told the Knesset on Wednesday.

Bennett and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch responded to an urgent parliamentary question from MK Hanna Swaid (Hadash) following an attack in Abu Ghosh Tuesday, in which 28 cars were vandalized and “Arabs go home” was sprayed on the walls of the town.

“The biggest threat to the future of settlements in Judea and Samaria is ‘price tag,’” Bennett said.

According to Bennett: “Every ‘price tag’ act is immoral and un-Jewish. A small group, which we have yet to catch, is trying to light the Middle East on fire and harm the efforts we’re making to create stability and good, neighborly relations with Arabs.”

The Bayit Yehudi MK added that the cabinet gave security authorities the ability to fight the phenomenon aggressively.

Swaid expressed surprise that the police still have not caught those who perpetrated the crime.

“The people who did this wanted to commit terrorist vandalism in the name of Judaism,” Swaid said. “The government’s denial that this is terror encourages them to continue.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein pointed out that MKs from all parts of the political spectrum criticized the crimes, and commended Abu Ghosh’s mayor for saying that nothing can harm coexistence and the town’s residents’ loyalty to Israel.

“This is one of the worst cases, but it’s not the only one. We must also condemn the publication of a picture of one of our friends [Finance Minister Yair Lapid], the son of a Holocaust survivor, in an SS uniform,” Edelstein added. “We as a house must set an example that we can argue, disagree and debate without crossing the line into incitement and personal insults or calls for violence.”

Aharonovitch explained that there have been arrests related to “price tag” incidents and investigations are ongoing.

Israel Police formed a special unit with 80 officers to take care of the incidents and has made it a priority to stop them, he added.

“As a member of the cabinet, the government’s decision [to call ‘price tag’ criminals] part of an illegal organization is important, and sends a message, giving [police] tools to enforce the law,” Aharonovitch stated. “I think they are terrorists, and I demanded they be labeled as terrorists, and I will continue to say so.”

Aharonovitch warned that continued “price tag” crimes can cause a religious war.

“This could end badly, and every day that there is an incident like this only makes it worse,” he said.

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