(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Social media was abuzz on Monday after Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett was the subject of unsavory scenes at the dovish Haaretz newspaper's Peace Conference, both during and after his speech.
Photos emerged on Twitter of a woman protesting Bennett's speech by performing a 'Heil Hitler' salute and another woman was filmed arguing with the minister and calling him a "Nazi" following the event. The video shows the Education Minister turning and walking away.
Bennett appeared at the one-day conference to describe his vision of what "a peace of the Right" would look like. The leader of the right-wing Bayit Yehudi party was booed by the crowd for his statement that keeping Jerusalem united is preferable to a diplomatic agreement.
He said he would make peace out of strength, giving the Palestinians autonomy, but not territory, and he would not allow in Palestinian refugees from the Arab world, who he said would use a Palestinian state as a step on the way to land they still claim in Israel.
"We get peace not by concessions and weakening Israel," Bennett said. "Had we listened to you and given the Golan Heights to Syria, we would now have Isis in the Galilee."
In an attempt to restore calm, President Reuven Rivlin urged hotheads on the right and the left of the political spectrum to stop trying to delegitimize each other. In the final analysis he said, what it all boils down to is the ability of the diverse elements in Israel’s population to live together safely in a democratic state.
Gil Hoffman and Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this report.