Rivlin’s security calls police over death threats
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Rivlin’s security calls police over death threats

President faces deluge of criticism after expressing ‘shame’ over killing of Palestinian baby in West Bank attack

President Reuven Rivlin speaks to the press after visiting Ahmed Dawabsha at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer on Friday, July 31, 2015. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin speaks to the press after visiting Ahmed Dawabsha at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer on Friday, July 31, 2015. (Mark Neyman/GPO)

Security personnel at President Reuven Rivlin’s official residence lodged a complaint with the Israel Police Sunday morning over threats made in response to his sharp condemnation of a firebombing attack, allegedly by Jewish settlers, that killed an 18-month-old Palestinian baby in the West Bank on Friday.

Among the messages forwarded to the police were death threats made on social media and a photo manipulated to show Rivlin wearing a kaffiyah, a traditional Arab head covering.

In a Facebook post Friday, Rivlin said he felt “shame” that the killers came from “my own people.”

In response, some posters said he would “come to an end worse than Ariel Sharon,” who became comatose in 2006 after suffering a stroke while serving as prime minister.

“You bloody loser, your end will be worse than Ariel Sharon’s, you will see. I pray that another ‘Yigal Amir’ will rise to cleanse you and the Arabs from our Jewish country, and so I wish you ill health and any other suffering,” one poster wrote.

A photo manipulated to depict Reuven Rivlin wearing a kaffiyeh, a traditional Arab headwear.
A photo manipulated to depict Reuven Rivlin wearing a kaffiyeh, a traditional Arab headwear.

Yigal Amir assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.

“You sold your soul to the devil,” another message read, adding, “My children saw me taking your picture off the wall [of my house] and asked why. I politely explained that you resigned and are no longer part of the Jewish people. You give a green light to hurting the Jewish people. You have been disqualified!”

Rivlin called for tolerance Saturday night at Jerusalem’s Zion Square at a demonstration staged in response to a stabbing at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade in Thursday, by an ultra-Orthodox Jew.

“Every society has extremist fringes, but today we have to ask: What is it about the public atmosphere that allows extremism and extremists to walk in confidence, in broad daylight? What is it that has enabled these weeds to threaten the safety of the entire garden of flowers?” said Rivlin.

“Citizens of Israel, a Jewish and democratic Israel, democratic and Jewish Israel, needs a wake-up call today,” he urged.

On Friday, he had also said the Israeli authorities had been “lax” in confronting Jewish terrorism.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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