Murderer of Peace Now activist calls anti-Netanyahu protesters ‘germs’

He also referred to the current cohort of anti-Netanyahu protesters as “evil people” and “haters of Israel."

Israeli police officers scuffle with demonstrators during a protest against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside Prime Minister official residence in Jerusalem on July 14, 2020 (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Israeli police officers scuffle with demonstrators during a protest against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside Prime Minister official residence in Jerusalem on July 14, 2020
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Yona Avrushmi, who murdered Peace Now activist Emil Grunzweig a at a rally in 1983 by lobbying a grenade into the crowd, said in a Channel 12 interview on Friday that supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who counter protestors at the ongoing demonstrations “know what to do,” implying their support for more violence.
Avrushmi lobbed a grenade into the crowd that resulted in the death of Grunzweig, in addition to wounding nine other activists, including former Labor Party minister Avraham Burg and current Likud minister Yuval Steinitz. In 1985 Avrushmi was given a life sentence, but released from prison in 2011 after serving 27 years.
On Friday, when asked about the protests he said the demonstrators are “germs, there’s no argument there… they spread diseases and must be kept away from society,” referencing a quote he made during the police investigation in 1985 when he told them about “germs that must be eliminated.”
“When you love someone, you are prepared to die for them. I loved Begin then like they admire Netanyahu now. And I love Netanyahu more than Begin,” Avrushmi said in the interview.
He also referred to the current cohort of anti-Netanyahu protesters as “evil people” and “haters of Israel,” adding that he “hates them and they hate me.”
When asked whether he will attend the rally at the Prime Minister’s Residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem, Avrushmi said he would not “go to Balfour,” but “some young guys [supporting Netanyahu] are going, and they know what to do, they know exactly what to do.”
Similarly, when asked about the night of the 1983 rally, Avrushmi said he “didn’t buy the grenade to leave it at home. I threw it [into the crowd] and went home to sleep.”
Avrushmi also argued that media coverage of the protests has been unfair, suggesting it has blown the demonstrations out of proportion.
Protesters have continued to hold rallies against the government on a variety of issues, including Netanyahu’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the corruption trial against him, and the economic situation in Israel. In recent weeks, there have also been violent incidences at rallies in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, including attacks against protesters in Tel Aviv by Beitar Jerusalem supporters who are part of the far-right pro-Netanyahu soccer hooligan organization “La Familia.”
Netanyahu has also referred to the protesters as “anarchists,” sparking condemnation from Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, in addition to members of the political opposition.
MK Moshe Ya’alon (Telem) condemned Avrushmi’s remarks on Twitter on Saturday and called for his immediate arrest.
“The inciting (yet not surprising) interview of the murderer Yona Avrushmi is cause for his immediate arrest! It is a clear offense of soliciting murder. Netanyahu must renounce his remarks because Avrushmi based his incitement on Netanyahu’s incitement against protesters. This anti-democratic violence is rearing its ugly head, and some choose to support it,” Ya’alon said. “Netanyahu, you won’t be able to say ‘my hands are clean.’”
A complaint citing incitement to murder against Avrushmi was filed at a Kfar Saba police department by a member of the Crime Minister group, one of the three main organizations protesting against Netanyahu.

Tobias Siegal contributed to this article.