Meretz MK refuses to apologize for call for settler leader's kids to be taken

Mossi Raz stated that the children of settler leader Itai Zar should be taken and given to an adoptive family.

Meretz MKs Michal Rozin and Mossi Raz on a tour of West Bank outposts on Thursday with Peace Now (photo credit: PEACE NOW)
Meretz MKs Michal Rozin and Mossi Raz on a tour of West Bank outposts on Thursday with Peace Now
(photo credit: PEACE NOW)

Meretz MK Mossi Raz refused to apologize on Wednesday after he called on Tuesday for the children of Itai Zar, one of the founders of the Havat Gilad outpost, to be taken and given to an adoptive family in Israeli territory.

During an interview with Army Radio, Zar questioned why his children "need to suffer" as the government doesn't provide infrastructure to the outposts, with Raz responding that "welfare services need to take his children and bring them back to Israel and have them live with an adoptive family."

After Raz made the statement, he was incorrectly quoted as stating that all children from the outposts need to be taken from their parents and given to adoptive families. On Wednesday, Raz told 103FM that the misquote was due to a mistake by Army Radio's digital team and that the mistaken quote had since been deleted.

During the interview on Wednesday, Raz stated that "maybe [I] shouldn't have said" the statement about taking Zar's children. Raz insisted that there was a big difference between his statement specifically against Zar's children and the quote which claimed that he had made the statement against the children of all settlers in outposts.

The Meretz MK refused to apologize for the statement, however, saying "come on, we are talking about a criminal; all in all, I said something not nice þ what's the big deal?" Raz stated that he does not actually believe that Zar's children should be taken and agreed that the children should not have been a part of the discussion.

Men work on the roof of a house under construction in the outpost of Havat Gilad, south of the West Bank city of Nablus, November 5, 2013. REUTERS/Nir Elias/File Photo (credit: REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)Men work on the roof of a house under construction in the outpost of Havat Gilad, south of the West Bank city of Nablus, November 5, 2013. REUTERS/Nir Elias/File Photo (credit: REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)

During the Army Radio interview on Tuesday, Zar expressed outrage that Bedouin villages that were built illegally were receiving infrastructure while some settlements in the West Bank were not.

"We serve in the army, serve the country, pay taxes, we love the country, we are Zionists," said Zar to Army Radio, adding that they were "sent by the state" to build the outpost.

"We want simple things. We want electricity, water, a bus station, sidewalks, security: simple and humanitarian things," said Zar, stressing that the government is already giving these things to Bedouin villages in southern Israel.

Raz told Army Radio that the situation in the settlements and the situation in Bedouin villages was different because settlements were built illegally outside of the territory in which Israel has sovereignty, while Bedouin villages were built illegally within it.

The Meretz MK stated that he supported places in the West Bank receiving electricity and water, but only after a deal was reached with the Palestinians. "I won't give criminals water or electricity," said Raz.

AFTER RAZ'S comments, Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan visited the kindergarten in Havat Gilad on Tuesday, saying "I came here to Havat Gilad, this charming young settlement [outpost], to hand out popsicles to the most wonderful girls and boys in the country, especially when compared to types like Mossi Raz and his delusional friends from the far Left."

"We will certainly not give any child to adoption, not even from the far Left, and everyone should educate their children as they wish – and we will add love and not hatred," Dagan said. "We will build the Land of Israel, establish more young settlements and get the young settlements authorized."

Dagan added that the children in the outpost deserve electricity and water and "certainly not insults and terrible statements like those heard today."

"I call on Mossi Raz and his friends: Just keep talking like this because the public understands by virtue of this why these places should be authorized and why there is nothing more just than arranging the young settlement in Judea and Samaria. We will build the Land of Israel, and we will beat you with a smile and joy and with a lot of sweetness."

The Young Settlements Forum stated that "welfare services need to take the kids out of Mossi Raz's home so they do not become disgusting people like him."

The Peace Now NGO expressed support for Raz, saying: "The ugly attack by settler leaders on MK Mossi Raz, based on a distorted quote, is a new height of hypocrisy."

"There seems to be no redline that the false and whiny campaign for authorizing criminal behavior and illegal outposts (under the laundered name Young Settlement) will not cross," Peace Now said. "Those who work to thwart a future agreement while committing daily crimes, plundering land and providing backing for violence should not dare to preach morality."