Netanyahu Looks to Up the Heat on Penalties for Arab Calls for Violence

Netanyahu will fight against incitement. Illustrative. Netanyahu. Photo Courtesy of UN-Photo/Marco Castro

Netanyahu will fight against incitement. Illustrative. Netanyahu. Photo Courtesy of UN-Photo/Marco Castro

Terrorism from within is an especially dangerous threat, but a key part of the development of internal terrorism is encouraging it from within. Israel’s government is considering legal means to curb the rhetoric that is stoking anti-Israel violence, and Israeli Arabs are the culprits under the microscope. Incredibly, one of those expressing vicious hate speech against Israel is actually an Arab member of the Israeli parliament (the Knesset).

In discussing his push for an investigation into Knesset Member Hanin Zoabi for incitement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quoted Zoabi’s comments to Hamas publication al-Risala in which she said, “If only individual attacks continue without popular support, they will sputter out within a few days. Therefore the outpouring of thousands of our people will make these events a real intifada.’”

In the comments released by his office, Netanyahu made it clear that the Zoabi quote is “wild and deceitful incitement” and “a clear call to violence. This is serious and I will not ignore it.”

Earlier in the quote, Zoabi linked the violence to religion by tying it to one of the mosques atop the Temple Mount, known as Al-Aqsa. “Hundreds of thousands of worshipers should go up to Al- Aqsa in order to face down an Israeli plot for the blood of East Jerusalem residents. Today there are actions only by individuals and what is needed is popular support,” Netanyahu quoted Zoabi as saying.

Zoabi isn’t the only Israeli Arab voicing violence against the nation that gives them voting rights, education and other benefits. The Islamic Movement has long been a source of troubling actions in Israel, and Netanyahu said that the group is among those speaking incitement against Israel regarding the Temple Mount.

The Times of Israel reported that Netanyahu asked that they begin accumulating evidence for a case to make the Islamic Movement illegal, and the Security Cabinet discussed the organization during a four-hour meeting, with more talks to come.

“I will not tolerate internal incitement,” Netanyahu’s office quoted him as saying. “We will use all means at our disposal against the instigators from any direction.”

The lies against Israel, especially those involving religious freedom and the mosques on the Temple Mount, are being linked to calls for violence. The leader of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Raed Salah, was quoted by The Times of Israel as saying in a recent sermon, “We have a package of plans ready to be unleashed immediately. May the streets of Jerusalem be purified with the blood of the innocent, who shed it in order to separate from their souls the soldiers of the Israel occupation, also in the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque.”

This religious connection is not lost on the Israel leadership. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin blamed the unholy incitement for the upsurge in terrorism. “Lately we have witnessed more and more attempts by political leaders, and others, to turn the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a religious conflict. From such a conflict, there would be no return,” Rivlin was quoted by his office as saying Monday.

He said that “anyone who does such a thing, has our blood—all of our blood—on their hands… The Jewish people and the State of Israel do not have, nor ever will have, a war with Islam. The horrible lie which depicts the State of Israel as seeking to change the status quo on the Temple Mount is not only a blatant falsehood, but also a dangerous plot that has cost innocent lives.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, October 12, 2015)

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