Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the opening of Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting to again condemn acts of Jewish terrorism, but stressed that just as the scope of Jewish terrorism can in no way be compared to the much greater Palestinian terrorism, so too the reaction of Israeli society is completely different than that of the Palestinian Authority.
Netanyahu noted that in Israel there was widespread condemnation of the phenomenon of Jewish terrorism by the government, various institutions and leaders. “Here we condemn it, there they [the PA] praise it [terrorism],” he said.
“In the PA they name squares and streets after them [terrorists], and pay them salaries,” he said. “There is a huge difference between the healthy approach of Israeli society and Israeli democracy that rejects terrorism, condemns it and acts against it, and the PA which, I regret, encourages it and incites toward it.”
The prime minister said that he brought the video of Jewish extremists dancing at a wedding in Jerusalem with guns and knives, while glorifying the murder of the Dawabsha family, to a recent cabinet meeting to make clear that the group in the video was both extreme and on the fringes.
Those in the video “certainly do not represent religious Zionism,” he said. Attempts to identify religions Zionism with that phenomenon, he added, “do a very great injustice to a large public that is loyal to the state, contributes to the state, to the IDF and the most elite units in the IDF.”
Netanyahu once again also praised the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), which has come under criticism from some on the Right for its methods of interrogation of Jewish terrorism suspects. The Shin Bet is acting under the rule of law, under judicial oversight, and in complete concert with the government’s policy “to fight terrorism wherever it is,” he said.
“We are not willing to accept terrorism or murder from any side,” he said.
National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz said that if Israel “will not uproot Jewish terrorism by the root, the Jewish terrorism will undercut the roots of the Zionist enterprise and Israeli democracy. We have to do everything to protect ourselves against Jewish terrorism and incitement to blind hatred.”