Sources in the security establishment fear “physical harm” amid the imminent establishment of the new, Naftali Bennett-led government, Channel 13 reports, explaining Shin Bet internal security service head Nadav Argaman’s extraordinary warning.
Particular concern, the TV report says, relates to Bennett, the prime minister-designate, and the members of his Yamina party, “religious Zionists who are facing… calls for physical violence against them.”
Channel 13 quotes a security source saying: “We are familiar with this: Somebody will read this [material castigating the planned new government] and will think that he has to ‘save the state,’ that if the change government is established, the Zionist project will be over, and will take action.”
Argaman and the Shin Bet fear that somebody will misinterpret the criticisms of the planned change government, Channel 13 adds, “will grab a weapon, will carry out a violent act, and will harm either Bennett or one of the MKs” heading into the change government.
The Shin Bet has no concrete reports of any such planned action, but the fear is that “we are getting closer and closer to 1995, to the months before the Rabin assassination,” the TV report says. “That’s why the head of the Shin Bet Nadav Argaman, despite stressing in his announcement the importance of free expression… chose to sound the alarm.”
Channel 13 adds that the Shin Bet chief issued his warning amid ongoing Shin Bet monitoring of the “social media discourse,” having seen a “very significant surge in recent days of references to ‘treason against the state,’ [and the ostensible imperative to] ‘save the state from the change government’.”