MKs on right, left slam violence against IDF base

Livni blames PM for “extremism overtaking Israel;” Rivlin says law-breakers are doing a disservice to settlers.

MK Tzipi Livni (Kadima) 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
MK Tzipi Livni (Kadima) 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) blamed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday for so-called “price-tag” attacks on IDF bases.
“Settlers’ violence in an IDF base is another step in the extremism that is overtaking Israel in agreement, with silence and a wink from the Netanyahu government, directly or indirectly,” Livni said.
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Livni explained that “extreme bills” show Netanyahu’s cooperation with extremism and that he lets his coalition partners “grow wild.”
“We must act to enforce the law and not let an extremist group determine our fate,” she added.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz visited the base on Tuesday afternoon and surveyed the damage.
“This is unacceptable and is a dangerous reality when the army, which is supposed to defend the people, is defending itself from the people,” Gantz said Tuesday night. “We need to enforce the law and prosecute the perpetrators, and I am confident that the state will know how to do that.”
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin explained that the activists were undermining settlers’ goals, because “there is no greater danger” to legal settlements in Judea and Samaria than law-breakers.
“These rioters are working against those who love and protect the Land of Israel,” Rivlin said. “We must have zero tolerance for such events – no one can break the law for the sake of their values. In a democracy, no one is above the law.”
MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima), a former Yesha Council chairman, said that the media was doing an injustice by calling the activists “settlers,” explaining that those who occupied the IDF base were “anarchists and settlers’ worst enemy.”
According to Schneller, the activists’ actions make them comparable to Palestinian terrorists, because they bring harm to IDF soldiers and officers.
Schneller, who lives in the settlement of Ma’aleh Michmash, said he felt that “price-tag” attackers were threatening his home and those of other settlers, and could bring about settlement evacuations.
“They belong behind bars, along with those who sent them,” the Kadima MK said. “They’re worse than [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas].”
MK Uri Ariel of the National Union, the party most identified with settler groups, slammed the activists’ actions, saying that it was unacceptable to break into and damage an IDF base.
“This event cannot be repeated in any way, and I expect the legal system to take care of this phenomenon immediately,” Ariel stated.
Fellow National Union MK Ya’acov Katz blamed the incident on “provocateurs” from the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), which he said was trying to disgrace the settlement movement.
“Anyone who harms the IDF, its soldiers or officers is not connected with the settlements, and in fact does harm to them,” he asserted.
“As in the past, in the days of Avishai Raviv and the Eyal organization, the one who has harmed the IDF is a provocateur planted by the Shin Bet, which is controlled by the radical Left. His purpose is to blacken the face of the settler movement in order to pave the way for the destruction of settlements, in accordance with [Defense Minister] Ehud Barak’s long-held plans.”
President Shimon Peres, meanwhile, described the incident as outrageous and among the gravest possible because it crossed all the red lines.
Speaking during a visit to Lod, he called throwing stones at IDF soldiers an aaffront, especially as the very extremists who had thrown them were protected day and night by those soldiers.
Such incidents should not be allowed to recur, the president said, and if they do, the culprits should be punished within the full scope of the law.
Radicals cannot run wild and dictate the national agenda, he declared, adding that such people brought shame on the State of Israel and harmed its relations with the Palestinians, with Jordan and with other neighbors.