(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett accused Joint List lawmakers of supporting and inciting terrorism in a speech to the Knesset on Wednesday.
“For 10 days, we have been witness to an intentional heating up of the situation by Palestinian factors and some Israeli Arabs,” he said, specifically mentioning Joint List MKs Haneen Zoabi and Ahmad Tibi, as well as Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch .
Bennett accused them of spreading an “antisemitic blood libel against Israel.”
“You know that the Temple Mount is open and those who want can pray. Why don’t you say the truth, that the State of Israel is keeping it secure and there is no attempt to change anything?” he asked. “Blood is being spilled, and you remain silent.”
Bennett argued that the current violence must be fought forcefully. He said he voted in the security cabinet against removing metal detectors from outside the Temple Mount, but that he backs the prime minister and the government.
“We need to fight terrorism. There is a good side, and there are murderers; black and white, no gray. This is a fight between light and darkness. Choose a side,” Bennett said.
Bennett supports death penalty for all terrorists – Jewish and Arab
Tibi asserted his right to respond to Bennett on the Knesset’s stage, because his name was mentioned.
According to Tibi, Bennett “joined the band of ministers who incite against Arab MKs... the easiest available scapegoat.”
Tibi said he doesn’t incite the Israeli-Arab public, the presence of police and metal detectors is what incites.
“Naftali Bennett has a part in lighting the fire. He is guilty, [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is to blame... the prime minister reads a poll and decides to use handheld metal detectors. His flip-flopping drove the country crazy, and led to bloodshed,” Tibi said.
Bennett pointed out that 10 days ago, when three Israeli Arabs killed two police officers with weapons that had been smuggled onto the Temple Mount, there were no metal detectors there.
“It happened, because they wanted to murder Israelis. Since then, some Arab MKs haven’t missed an opportunity to light fires. You want to be normative Israelis, welcome. If you want to join the terrorists, you belong with them. We won’t give up,” Bennett retorted.