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Michaeli: A direct link between spate of violence and far-right victory

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Labor party leader Merav Michaeli arrives for a faction meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on November 28, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Labor party leader Merav Michaeli arrives for a faction meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on November 28, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Labor party chief Merav Michaeli says there is a direct link between a recent spate of violent incidents in Israel and the West Bank and the fact that far-right parties are coming into power.

“A straight line connects the violence against Arabs and against human rights activists in Hebron — and the violence that Israeli citizens suffer in the streets,” says Michaeli, referring to a tumultuous week in the West Bank city and several road rage incidents in Israel.

“When the country is taken over, and is in the hands of extremists who all say ‘we’re the bosses here’ and ‘we can do anything we want,’ when Arabs, leftists, human rights activists are labeled as the enemy, when anything justifies brandishing a gun — it means that anyone who is not like us, anyone who is not ‘us,’ can be beaten, can be hit,” she adds.

Otzma Yehudit chief Itamar Ben Gvir campaigned on the slogan that “we are the landlords” of Israel and calls left-wing activists “anarchists.” He also has several times drawn his gun in residential areas to “protect” Jews.

In addition to Ben Gvir, Michaeli directed her blame at Religious Zionism’s Bezalel Smotrich and Noam’s Avi Maoz.

Noam “is entirely based on hatred and exclusion, hatred of gays and lesbians, hatred of Arabs, exclusion of women,” she says.

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