Herzog Cautions Against Violence in Election Run-Up

President Yitzchak Herzog. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) – President Yitzchak Herzog urged an intensely divided public to keep its cool ahead of the upcoming elections, warning that heated tempers could easily spin out of control.

“Violence is on the rise. Verbal violence — accusations of treason, comparisons to the Nazis, threats and curses — in the public sphere and on social media,” Herzog said in a speech on Wednesday evening ahead of Yom Kippur.

“We see insults turning into physical violence. Into curled fists, into assaults, into bloodshed,” he said.

Herzog did not point fingers at anyone in particular. But there have been reports in recent weeks of scuffles at demonstrations.

“One cannot avoid the disturbing thought: what’s next? Knives? Gunfire? Fatalities? G-d forbid. After all, we have already been through this story before, and this time we must not hold back or bite our tongues,” he said.

“Before your next nasty post, before your next hate-filled tweet or reply, before fighting, attacking, and hitting — stop. Don’t come along later seeking forgiveness or apologizing — stop now. Before it’s too late.”

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