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Bennett blasts Smotrich over tweet blaming government for terror attacks

PM says far-right MK ‘dancing on blood’ of victims after the latter writes a critical post lambasting coalition with Ra’am

Composite photo: Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (R) and MK Bezalel Smotrich (Flash90)
Composite photo: Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (R) and MK Bezalel Smotrich (Flash90)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday censured far-right MK Bezalel Smotrich, head of the Religious Zionism party, over tweets accusing the government of responsibility for the recent wave of terror attacks.

“Whoever posts such a thing, whoever dances on the blood of the dead, represents neither Zionism nor the religious,” Bennett said on Sunday.

In an initial tweet on Friday, Smotrich sarcastically thanked “Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and her friends in the Yamina party” for preventing a fifth election by “creating a coalition with leftist terror supporters.”

The tweet included pictures of the 11 people killed in the recent terror attacks in Beersheba, Hadera, and Bnei Brak, with the tagline “They won’t vote again.”

Smotrich used to be a member of Yamina, until he left to form his own party with Itamar Ben Gvir and several other far-right politicians in the run up to the March 2021 elections.

Following criticism over the tweet, Smotrich doubled down: “Knowingly lying to voters is a moral nadir. Forming a government with the extreme left and the Islamic Movement, that you had warned only a month prior against joining, is a nadir of values. For one to see how, from the moment the government was formed, the violence among Israeli Arabs has risen, how we face an unparalleled wave of terror by Israeli Arabs, and yet hunker down in your luxurious offices and not even attend the funerals of the murdered — is a moral degradation and is an abomination,” he said.

In his response Sunday, Bennett said he “had not had time over the weekend to comment on this horrific post. I was involved in security matters, in the dozens of actions we are taking to stop the wave of terrorism, thwarting the terrorist attack in Jenin and other burning issues.”

 

In response to Bennett’s comments, Smotrich said: “Anyone who used bereaved families to gather voters and today refuses to even meet with them in order to please his terror-supporting partners is better off not talking about dancing on blood.”

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