Israel’s Economy Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday doubled down on his call for a “powerful” response to the recent murder of Israeli teens Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frankel and Gilad Shaar, both 16.
“I will not be silenced, and I have no intention of apologizing,” he said on Facebook.
Alongside the comments, Bennett posted a caricature of himself published by Israel’s Haaretz daily which portrays him as a machine gun toting soldier dancing on a table in front of other Israeli leaders.
Referring to the murder and kidnapping on Wednesday of Arab Jerusalem teen Mohammed Abu-Khdeir the photo’s caption read, “If the Arab youth was murdered for nationalistic motives, the blood is on Bennett’s hands.”
In response Bennett vowed, “You will not silence us.”
“In recent days and in the days to come you will read a lot about ‘extremism’ and ‘irresponsible people,’” he said. “Some will use stronger terminology in response to our demands for a powerful response following the difficult events we experienced.”
“Their goal: To silence my position. It will not work,” he promised.
Pointing to the increase in terror attacks against Israel in recent days Bennett said that Israel needs to restore its deterrence. He also condemned acts of “revenge” and noted that steps to protect the Jewish state in response to the murders should be applied by authorities only.
“Israel’s deterrence should be carried out by the government, not by any criminal acts of citizens,” he stated.
“The murder of the boy is a terrible thing, whatever the motives were,” he said of Abu-Khdeir’s death. “I emphasize that we do not know yet what the background is for the murder.”
Bennett said, “Nobody should take the law into his own hands, ever. We must not learn that from our enemies.”