Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev received security protection on Monday after receiving threats to harm him from right-wing Jewish extremists, he revealed on his Twitter account.
“From this morning, I am protected 24/7,” Bar Lev tweeted. “For the past six months, when I was asked why I did not have a bodyguard, I said I was not threatened. But due to my determination in my struggle against Arab crime families, I hoped I wouldn’t get to the point where they’d threaten me personally. But no, I am not threatened by Arab criminals: I am threatened by Jewish Israelis.”
מהבוקר אני מאובטח 24/7. בחצי שנה האחרונה נשאלתי לא פעם בארועים שונים "מה אינך מאובטח?" והשבתי בשמחה "אינני מאוים"! בעקבות המאבק הנחוש שלי כנגד משפחות פשע ערביות קוויתי שלא יגיע הרגע שמי מהן תאיים עלי אישית. אז זהו שלא, אינני מאוים ע"י פושעים ערבים אני מאוים ע"י יהודים ישראלים— עמר בר-לב (@omerbarlev) December 27, 2021
When asked at Labor’s faction meeting if he fears for his life, Bar Lev said no. He blamed the threats he had received on Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina), Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana (Yamina) and Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel (New Hope), who criticized him for tweeting about his conversation regarding settler violence with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland.
“Those reactions from three ministers to my tweet made me the enemy of all the settlers and made me look like someone who doesn’t understand security,” Bar Lev said.
Labor leader Merav Michaeli said the threats to her party colleague were “the erosion of democracy.”
But Religious Zionist Party MK Simcha Rothman responded that during the time Bar Lev was not being threatened, “Jews in Lod, Acre, Judea, Samaria, the Temple Mount and many other places under his jurisdiction were threatened, and he decided to incite against them.”
Bar Lev is not the only minister who has received bodyguards due to threats from Jewish extremists. Kahana has had bodyguards for weeks after he was threatened due to his reforms in kosher certification and conversion.
The prime minister and defense minister automatically receive a security detail.
Three MKs receive ammunition from the Knesset to protect themselves: Amir Ohana (Likud), Sharren Haskel (New Hope) and Itamar Ben-Gvir (Religious Zionist Party).
After an incident in which Ben-Gvir drew his gun in a verbal fight with an Arab security guard last week, he was heckled on Monday at a meeting of the Knesset Interior Committee.
Committee chairman Waleed Taha of Ra’am (United Arab List) told Ben-Gvir he hoped he was not armed at the meeting.
“A man like you deserves to be in jail,” Ben-Gvir responded.