A settler activist on Friday said President Reuven Rivlin should not heed the death threats against him, since he is “not nearly important enough” to merit a political assassination.
Daniella Weiss, who served as the mayor of the settlement of Kedumim from 1996 to 2007, dismissed the online threats against the president in an interview aired Friday on Channel 1.
“You can pass along a message to Rubi Rivlin: ‘You can sleep well at night.’ No one is thinking of killing him. He’s not nearly important enough to deserve it,” she said.
Rivlin has been the subject of repeated online death threats following his sharp criticism of Israeli society and its perceived tolerance for Jewish extremism. Rivlin has been especially outspoken in the wake of two hate in late July that saw 16-year-old Shira Banki stabbed to death at the Jerusalem Gay Price Parade by an ultra-Orthodox man, and Palestinian toddler Ali Saad Dawabsha burned to death in the West Bank when arsonists, thought to be Jewish terrorists, firebombed his family home. The toddler’s father, Saad Dawabsha, died of his wounds Saturday, and his mother and big brother are still hospitalized in critical condition.
Yesh Atid MK Yaakov Peri on Sunday slammed Weiss for her remarks and urged legal action against her for “incitement to murder.”
“I don’t understand why this remark is not under the category of incitement to murder,” Peri, a former head of the Shin Bet security agency, told Army Radio. “The legal authorities must act.”
Rivlin said Friday that another political assassination in Israel — like the murder of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 — was “possible,” but that he’s “really not afraid” of the threats he has received online.
In condemning the attack of the Dawabsha family home in Duma and expressing shame that the suspected perpetrators are Jews, Rivlin raised the ire of right wingers on social media who wished for his death and posted photos and videos casting him as a Nazi officer. The president spoke at an anti-violence rally in Jerusalem following the attacks, and warned that “flames of hatred” were consuming Israel and that Jewish extremists must be met head-on.
In a series of interviews in the Hebrew press Friday to mark the one-year anniversary of his presidency, Rivlin said that the online attacks “could be insulting and angering” and that he was facing some “difficult days” with the deluge of hate targeting him, but that “on a personal level, I am not someone who will cancel plans because of personal danger, because I’m really not afraid.”
Rivlin’s security team lodged a complaint with police over the death threats. An investigation was also launched over a series of videos showing Rivlin, along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in SS uniforms.