Responding to the ongoing incitement against MKs from the bloc of parties set to be sworn in as a government that would replace him, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he “condemns all incitement and violence.” He added that “incitement against us is also rampant.”
“For a long time, there have been terrible calls against us. To murder me and my family, my wife,” he said at the opening of a Likud faction meeting in the Knesset.
“Incitement to violence will always be out of bounds, and yet it is important to clarify — freedom of expression is not incitement. Criticism from the right cannot be treated as incitement and criticism from the left as legitimate action. It is an attempt to frame the right as something dangerous for democracy.”
Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin said at the opening of the Likud faction meeting that “a government based on abysmal hatred is about to be formed, not only toward the prime minister but toward all the values we stand for. This is a government that will be helpless vis-à-vis Iran; will stop the settlement in Yehudah and Shomron.”
He said the government would be “the dream government of the judiciary that will continue to take the power of the Knesset and the government with increasing force.”
Netanyahu also said that, “This dangerous left-wing government will prevent settlement, will not face the Americans in an agreement with Iran that poses a threat to our very existence and will not withstand pressure.”
He added that if formed, the new government will represent “a scam against the public. The biggest election scam, maybe, in history.”
He noted that “a government with the extreme left that depends on supporters of terrorism will not be able to take systematic and consistent action against terrorist organizations in Gaza and it is doubtful that it will fight the decision in the Hague tribunal.”
Commenting on rising incitement against MKs from the bloc of parties set to form the new government, Levin says that double standards are being applied when it comes to criticism from the right.
He said the criticism heard of methods used by pro-Netanyahu activists is not heard against “the endless incitement” against the prime minister.
“I condemned it then and I condemn with the same sharpness all incitement and violence today,” Levin says.
“But it is also our responsibility to act in accordance with the mandate we have received from the public, to do the right thing for the benefit of the state, even when it involves discomfort,” he said of the efforts to torpedo the new government.
“We will continue to fight alongside you for a right-wing government and not a left-wing government,” he said, addressing Netanyahu. “We must maintain unity and side with Netanyahu in this struggle. ”
Meanwhile, Yamina MKs Nir Orbach and Idit Silman will be receiving a security detail until further notice, the Knesset officer announced on Sunday afternoon.
This comes amid a wave of threats to the two MKs who had been teetering between voting in support of or against the new coalition led by Yamina head Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid.
Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked has also received a security detail. The Shin Bet has begun providing Bennett with a full prime-ministerial security detail as well.
Silman had announced that she would be supporting the “change bloc” in forming a coalition with center- and left-wing parties. Orbach has yet to formally announce his decision.
As a result, right-wing protesters have been demonstrating outside Orbach’s home, calling for him to leave his camp and vow to oppose the new coalition.