Bennett Lines Up with Critics of Minister on Inciteful Remarks

Minister of Public Security Omer Barlev at a Labor party faction meeting at the Knesset, Monday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday appeared to line up with critics of Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, who has been lambasted for saying that “settler violence” against Palestinians is a serious problem.

The issue erupted on Monday after Barlev tweeted about a meeting with U.S. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland in which he said that the two discussed “settler violence and how to reduce tensions in the area and strengthen the Palestinian Authority.”

Barlev offered suggestions for coping with the problem but did not defend Jewish residents of Yehuda and Shomron, who suffer from ceaseless violence against them from Palestinian terrorists.

Bennett on Tuesday tweeted: “Settlers in Judea and Samaria have suffered violence and terror, daily, for decades. They are the defensive bulwark for all of us, and we must strengthen and support them, in words and actions.”

“There are marginal elements in every community, and they should be dealt with using all means, but we must not generalize about an entire community,” Bennett said, without mentioning Barlev by name.

Barlev’s comment came after Nuland told him that the State Department was keeping track of the incidents, according to Haaretz. Barlev told Nuland his ministry and the Defense Ministry were working together to address the matter.

Barlev has not been apologetic. Instead, he suggested that his critics were having difficulty “looking in the mirror,” and that such violence was becoming an issue on the international stage, with foreign governments taking an interest in it.

“I recommend that those who have difficulty [understanding this] drink a glass of water,” he said.

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