A Hebrew University professor on Monday called Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked a “filthy neo-Nazi,” prompting the Jewish Home lawmaker to file a police complaint for incitement.
Ofer Cassif, a political science professor at the Jerusalem university, made the statement on Facebook in response to a similarly critical post by former Peace Now director and Hebrew University professor Amiram Goldblum. Goldblum charged in all-caps that “SHAKED’S ELECTION CAMPAIGN WAS BASED AMONG OTHERS ON MONEY COLLECTED IN EXCHANGE FOR ARMS SOLD TO KILLERS IN SIERRA LEONE AND IN SOUTH AMERICA BY SHAKED’S FINANCIAL SUPPORTER WHO IS NOW IN JAIL IN BELGIUM AFTER BEING DETAINED BY INTERPOL FOR 8 MONTHS IN MONTENEGRO SINCE MARCH 2015.”
Goldblum also called on all European governments to block Shaked from visiting their countries.
Adding to Goldblum’s post, Cassif dubbed Shaked a “filthy neo-Nazi,” adding that “she’s not only a partner responsible for the fascization [sic] of Israel but also an indirect partner to genocide in Africa and crimes against humanity.”
The university said in response to Cassif’s comments that it is not responsible for comments made by its lecturers as long as they don’t use the lecture podium for disseminating them.
Interviewed by Channel 2 later in the evening, Cassif said he would not backtrack on his comments. “I’m sorry that I didn’t say this earlier,” he said.
“I didn’t call Shaked a Nazi, but rather a neo-Nazi,” he said. “This is what it was like in 1935 when a nation was discriminated against.”
Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who leads the Jewish Home party, called the head of the Hebrew University, demanding an immediate response to Facebook posts by university professors critical of Shaked.
Bennett said in a statement that the posts were “the most serious incitement against a justice minister since the founding of the state.
“Academia cannot turn into a source of incitement against the minister responsible for the justice system in this country,” he went on.
Shaked has lodged a formal police complaint.