Bennett Backs MK Silman, Accused of Fabricating Physical Attack

YERUSHALAYIM -

For the second time in two weeks, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has come to the side of a government official subjected to threats and abuse.

On Sunday, Bennett spoke on behalf of MK Idit Silman, of his Yamina party, whose complaint that she was attacked at a gas station in Modi’im was treated with skepticism by some colleagues in the Knesset.

“Over the last few months, and even more so in the run-up to the budget vote, Idit Silman and her family have been going through a series of extremely severe pressures, slanders and attacks that few elected officials have experienced. I support Idit and all she is doing to get Israel back on track,” Bennett said on Sunday evening.

The Knesset public relations office disclosed Silman sent an official complaint to the Knesset officer alleging threats against her in late September and October, Arutz Sheva reported.

“This application, like any application submitted to the Knesset Officer’s Office, will be forwarded tomorrow morning, by the Deputy Knesset Officer, for further investigation and investigation by the Israel Police,” the Knesset said.

Last week, the Health Ministry has assigned a private security detail to Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, the director of public health, after police determined that she was the target of credible death threats.

Police launched a criminal probe into threats made on social media against Dr. Alroy-Preis, seen by many as the face of the government’s pandemic policies.

In the past months she has become the target of opprobrium by anti-vaxxers.

Bennett issued a statement defending her against the attacks.

Silman is facing accusations that she fabricated an incident in which she was allegedly assaulted at a gas station some two weeks ago over her political views.

Silman, the coalition chairman, claimed in a weekend interview that a man threw her into her car while she was stopping at a gas station in the city of Modi’in.

“I realized how dangerous words can be. At that moment, I realized that I was putting everything aside and that we were passing the budget,” she said in the interview.

A physical attack on an MK is an exceptionally rare incident. However, Silman’s claims are being challenged.

Silman did not file a complaint about the alleged assault with the Knesset officer or the police. She refused to disclose at which gas station the incident occurred. This is odd, as footage of the attack would have been recorded by security cameras at the site, corroborating her story.

Silman later claimed that journalists knew about the incident and that she “reported to those who needed to hear the report,” and that the incident did not occur two weeks ago, but earlier on.

Silman has previously claimed that she was being hounded, but had provided no evidence of this.

In one incident, the police raided the homes of those she claimed had been following her by car. They turned out to be yeshivah students who did not follow her secretly but used a loudspeaker and called on her not to join the government. No indictment has been filed in any of the cases even though almost half a year has passed.

Silman went silent on Sunday and has avoided attempts by the press to obtain her full version of events.

MK Betzalel Smotrich ( Religious Zionism) said that “what Silman probably forgot is that you can lie to some people all the time, you can lie to all people some of the time, but you can’t lie to everyone all the time.

“Her attempt to delegitimize the just public protest against her turning her back on values and promises through false fabrications is another low point in what appears to be a bottomless pit,” he added.

Yisrael Price contributed to this story.


Updated Sunday, November 7, 2021 at 5:02 pm .