Gantz lashed out at Netanyahu on Saturday evening, accusing him of staying silent as his supporters attacked him on social media.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz accused Israel’s Right on Saturday night of incitement to violence and blamed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for remaining silent amidst the attacks, mainly on social media.
“The incitement crosses all lines. Unless we wake up, the next political murder is around the corner,” Gantz said.
“I will not permit you to bring about the first civil war of modern Israel for an exit ticket from your trial,” Gantz said, repeating a refrain from Blue and White’s campaign that the only thing that interests Netanyahu is to escape his corruption charges.
“Netanyahu, again billboards of leaders with keffiyehs, and again you’re silent,” Gantz said, referring to an image posted to social media of the leaders of Blue and White, several of them former IDF chiefs of staff, wearing keffiyehs, a traditional Arab head covering.
“Threats of murder, and again you’re silent. Again violence against citizens and quiet demonstrators in Jerusalem, and again you’re silent. Incitement rages in all directions – and you’re silent,” Gantz said.
By violence against citizens, Gantz apparently referred to an incident in Jerusalem on Friday where several Netanyahu supporters attacked a guard at a tent encampment in front of the president’s house set up by the Movement for Quality in Government, an NGO which has twice appealed to the Supreme Court to block Netanyahu’s ability to serve as prime minister because he’s facing indictment. The attackers stole the guard’s watch.
The incitement, Gantz says, is “raging in all directions” and is mainly on social media. In one case, a picture of an Israeli passenger bus that had been blown up in a terror attack was captioned “swearing-in ceremony of the new Gantz government.”
The picture referred to the apparent willingness of Gantz to join with the Arab Joint List in order to form a government.
None of the social media posts cited in the media as examples call for direct violence against Gantz or his supporters, raising the question of whether or not the Blue and White leader has been overheated in his accusations and rhetoric.
Gantz made his comments following a speech by Netanyahu in which he accused Gantz, together with other opposition leaders of stealing the election “through the theft of public opinion by lies and anti-democratic legislation.”