(photo credit: COURTESY OF MIKI ZOHAR)
Saying the “occupation” is the reason for terrorism encourages and justifies attacks on Israelis, MK Miki Zohar (Likud) said Sunday evening, doubling down after MK Stav Shaffir (Zionist Union) complained about his statements to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein.
Shaffir wrote to Weinstein about a Facebook post Zohar had published on Sunday morning about the terrorist slaying of Danny Gonen near Dolev on Friday.
“I want to make it clear to our enemies that we will never give in and will continue to protect the whole Land of Israel forever and ever,” Zohar wrote. “I am waiting for condemnations from the Left to this shameful terrorist attack, but let me disappoint you in advance, because you won’t find many like this. (Some will even justify it,)” When a Facebook commenter asked him to whom he was referring, he wrote: “A large part of Meretz and the Zionist Union.”
Later that day, Shaffir wrote on her own Facebook page that Zohar had made up a blood libel about the Left.
“Really, MK Zohar? Did you ever hear an MK from my party or Meretz support terrorists? Identify with terrorists? ... You never heard even one of our MKs express that stance. That is simply a blatant, ugly, nauseating lie,” she wrote.
Shaffir called for Weinstein to investigate Zohar for defamation against dozens of MKs and almost half of Israel’s citizens.
Soon after, Zohar said he found it “strange that they’re trying to deny this after years of incitement against the Right in their condescension, their slandering of the holy IDF and their claim that the ‘occupation’ causes terror.”
The Likud MK said Shaffir’s response had been one of “cheap populism, which characterizes [her] public activities.”
“You’d be surprised, but when there are public figures who say terror attacks are a result of the occupation, in my eyes, that is strengthening, encouraging and justifying terrorist acts,” Zohar wrote to Shaffir.
“When there are public figures who are busy being hostile to the most moral army in the world, that is incitement against the state, strengthening and encouraging terror.”
In replying to the Zionist Union MK, he added: “You say I incite against the Left, I say that you incite against... those who you call ‘settlers.’” On Monday, MK Merav Michaeli, the Zionist Union faction’s chairwoman, opened a faction meeting by saying the party sent condolences to the victims of the recent days terror attack and condemned violence against all innocent civilians.
Zohar viewed her statement as a victory but said it was too little, too late, calling on Zionist Union and Meretz MKs to “condemn MKs who go on terrorist flotillas and [former Meretz MK] Mossi Raz, who, on the day of the [fatal terror] attack [near Dolev], wrote that it was because of settlements.”
“After they do all that, then they can deal with my criticism of the radical Left for not criticizing the incident,” Zohar told The Jerusalem Post ahead of a Likud faction meeting.