Prime Minister Bennett removes Israeli flag pin during visit to Arab town

While encouraging Arab Israelis in Taibeh to vaccinate, Prime Minister had social media on pins and needles.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had social media talking about pins and needles after he visited a vaccination center in the Arab Israeli town of Taibeh on Thursday without a customary Israeli pin on his lapel.

Bennett met with health care workers and encouraged Arab youth to vaccinate. Only 16 percent of Arab youth ages 12-15 have received at least one vaccination. That lags behind the vaccination rate of Jewish youth, which is 39%, according to Health Ministry figures.

As routine reports and photos of the visit were published, social media users noticed that Prime Minister didn’t have an Israeli pin affixed to his left lapel.

Bennett pins

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visiting Arab Israeli health care workers in Taibeh, and later at a Jerusalem press conference, Aug. 19, 2021. (Prime Minister’s Office, Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Later in the day, Bennett gave a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office with the pin back in place.

The Prime Minister’s Office hasn’t commented on the missing pin. But tongues wagged on social media.

”The pin was removed today on the occasion of his visit to Taybeh probably because he didn’t want to get under their skin. Like not wanting to hurt [United Arab List chairman Mansour] Abbas’s feelings,” wrote one person.

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Right-wing activist Baruch Marzel tweeted: “As I said about Bennett nine years ago, the man has zero ideology. Everything is up for sale as far as he’s concerned. So long as it helps him promote himself, he is willing to give up on the Israeli flag.”