Hendel after visit with lone soldiers: Our discourse is getting more extreme

Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel posted a letter on Facebook in which he condemned extreme comments toward PM Naftali Bennett from Netanyahu supporters.

 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel visit lone soldiers at the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin (photo credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel visit lone soldiers at the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin
(photo credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)

Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel took to Facebook on Friday to condemn Netanyahu-supporting protests on Thursday night in a letter that he addressed to the Likud faction and Orthodox citizens.

While Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Hendel were visiting the sukkah at the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin on Thursday, Netanyahu supporters were protesting at Rabin square with signs that said "Bennett, the Oppressor of Jews" and anti-Left slogans.

Hendel wrote that he was posting the letter "after a night of reflection about our nation."

"I have been present in the space of public discourse for many years now," he wrote. "There were harsh comments against Netanyahu, and there are harsh comments against the current prime minister, but I always knew to stop and make sure that we are not moving onto an agenda based on the word 'traitor', whether from the Left or the Right, and certainly not based on such unbridled hatred against the prime minister and the nation's institutions."

He said that anger against political change can lead to progressively more extreme commentary that seeks to dismiss the legitimacy of the governing bodies and the law, which in turn leads to distrust in health institutions and the IDF.

He then addressed the Netanyahu supporters directly, pointing out that when the government was being formed, he promised to replace Netanyahu with a right-wing prime minister, which he did.

 Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meets with lone soldiers at a sukkah in Jerusalem (credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO) Prime Minister Naftali Bennett meets with lone soldiers at a sukkah in Jerusalem (credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)

"The Likud's 'right-wing government' actualized the disengagement [from Gaza in 2008], and evicted thousands of Jews, Netanyahu's 'right-wing government' released over 1,000 terrorists who killed Jews, froze building processes and removed our sovereignty from the Negev, the Galilee, and the mixed cities," he wrote.

"Now were are responsible for fixing it, for collecting weapons from the Arab sector, fighting the lack of sovereignty, and acting professionally to ensure that there will be infrastructure for everyone."

Hendel wrote that he understands the right of the haredi communities to want only Rabbinic control and of Netanyahu supporters to want only him as their prime minister but that unity has to be the ideal.

"When I was with the prime minister and the lone soldiers last night, I saw a man who, like me, believes in this nation with all his heart. A right-wing, religious man who does not put people in boxes based on their kippa [skullcap]."

In conclusion, he said that Israel is everything Zionism dreamed of: a Jewish national home.

"Yes. Arguing is okay. The lulav is not the etrog and shouldn't be" he said, meaning that people are different: "but I don't intend on letting any people, a few or thousands, sabotage the dream of a Jewish, democratic, safe, and just nation."