Opposition leader Isaac Herzog on Saturday issued a call to action against Jewish terrorism, and demanded that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon respond to such acts in the same way as Israel responds to Islamist terrorism.
Without mentioning the firebomb attack on a Palestinian home on Friday that left 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha dead and his family fighting for their lives, Herzog wrote in an impassioned post on Facebook that, “After we have condemned and condemned again, we cannot — again – return to daily events as though nothing happened.”
It is time for action, he wrote, “That meets the threat to Israel’s security posed by Jewish terrorists, who endanger us exactly like their brothers – Islamist terrorists.”
Herzog took aim at the political and security echelons, which he accused of ineffectual measures and of turning a blind eye to Jewish extremists. “If I were prime minister, I would instruct the Shin Bet [domestic security service] to deal with Jewish terrorism like Islamist terrorism,” he wrote. “With determination and not with a wink.”
He urged the defense establishment to utilize “all the tools at our disposal in the battle against Islamist terrorism,” calling for the use of administrative detentions and the outlaw of certain organizations.
Citing radical right-wing group Lehava, as well as “the Marzels” — a reference to far-right extremist and failed Knesset candidate Baruch Marzel, and “La Familia” — Beitar Jerusalem’s cabal of racist fans, Herzog said he “would class them as terrorist organizations. And even consider demolishing the homes of these terrorists and their families. Everything that is used to strike against Islamist terrorism should be used here too.”
The opposition leader also demanded that the media stop whitewashing such attacks and call “this by its true name. It is not a revenge attack, nor is it a price tag. It is terrorism. Period. And they are terrorists. Period. Jews and Islamists who endanger the security of Israel.”
Herzog concluded by saying he would be attending an impromptu rally against violence and hatred in Tel Aviv on Saturday night.
“There too I intend to call, from the stage, for the most severe treatment of these terrorists, and demand it through all means at my disposal from our defense minister and the prime minster, from who we have until now only heard strong condemnation. But, as I wrote above – it is time to act.”