The Twitter account of Bayit Yehudi MK Bezalel Smotrich was temporarily suspended on Monday after he said the previous day that Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian agitator, should have been crippled by being shot in the knee after slapping an IDF soldier.His account was restored after 12 hours, with the offending tweet blocked, although the MK stood by his comments and said on Facebook that anyone acting toward IDF soldiers as Tamimi did should be “put in a wheelchair for the rest of their days.”Tamimi, a member of a family that serially provokes IDF personnel in their district, northwest of Ramallah, was filmed slapping two soldiers in December and was subsequently arrested, tried and convicted of assault and incitement in a plea bargain with a military court last month.“In my opinion, she should have caught a bullet, at least in the kneecap. That would have put her under house arrest for the rest of her life,” the MK wrote.
Twitter rules state that a user may not make specific threats of violence or wish for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of a person or group of persons.Smotrich took to Facebook to justify his tweet, and stood by it whole-heartedly.He said that the IDF’s security model is based on deterrence, and that if deterrence is eroded then Israel’s security is weakened. The MK said that the incident in which Tamimi, then 16, slapped and shoved the soldiers was “severe and dangerous,” the consequences of which would be “murder and injury to life,” since the fact that Palestinian children are not afraid to take such actions demonstrates that the IDF’s deterrence has been eroded.“If it depended on me, every incident like this would end with a sharp and painful lesson.“After several [people] like this would end up in a wheelchair till the end of their days, it is reasonable that there would be fewer of them who would dare do this, and deterrence would be restored,” the lawmakers concluded, adding that Tamimi was a terrorist who was harming Israeli security.Smotrich was required to reread Twitter’s rules and confirm he would abide by them before his account was reactivated.He decried “friends from the ‘enlightened and liberal’ Left, who exposed their real face and who support complete freedom of expression for everyone, on condition that they think like them.”
IDF arrests Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi (credit: IDF Spokesperson)