Education Minister Naftali Bennett came out in favor of equal treatment of terrorists regardless of background – Jewish or Arab – including the death penalty on Sunday.
“With a heavy heart, I support the balance between individual rights and freedoms with protecting Israel’s security and preventing [terrorist attacks],” Bennett told Kalman Liebskind on Galey Israel Radio. “I said it in the past, and I stand behind my statements that it is right to use administrative detentions sparingly and very carefully.”
When asked whether he believes in totally equal treatment of Jewish and Arab terrorists, including house demolitions and the death penalty, Bennett responded in the affirmative.
“If there is a trend – and again, we still have to put an asterisk here, because I haven’t seen proof yet – but assuming that there’s a trend, then we need to use parallel tools,” he stated.
When Liebskind specifically asked about the death penalty, Bennett said: “Yes, of course, the answer is yes.”
Last month, a bill by MK Sharon Gal (Yisrael Beytenu) to make it easier to sentence terrorists to death was voted down 94-6
, with only Yisrael Beytenu MKs voting in favor. Though Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said they support the death penalty, the former skipped the vote in order to not go against the government position. Shaked could not get away with absenting herself because she is the chairwoman of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.