Israel: An Israeli pilot publicly threatens to assassinate Netanyahu
An Israeli pilot who participated in the bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 threatened to assassinate Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, if he continued to implement a plan to reform the judiciary, which the opposition describes as a coup.
“If the prime minister gets dictatorial powers, he and his ministers should be killed,” Colonel (res.) Ze’ev Raz, one of the leaders of the protest against Netanyahu, wrote.
In response, Netanyahu’s Likud party said in a statement posted on its Twitter: “The incitement against Prime Minister Netanyahu breaks the pinnacle of insanity… We were shocked by Ze’ev Raz’s call for the assassination of Prime Minister Netanyahu and the ministers…The Shin Bet and the police must act immediately to arrest him and the other inciters against Prime Minister Netanyahu”.
Later, the Israel Police issued an official statement announcing that its commander, Yaakov Shabtai, had decided, after a significant increase in dangerous incitement statements, that any post of this kind on social media and the media would be investigated.
Shabtai added, “The Israel Police won’t tolerate inflammatory publications of any kind, and anyone who publishes or expresses himself in a threatening and inflammatory manner to harm public figures will be investigated with a warning, and if it is found that he committed a criminal offense, an indictment will be filed against him”.
The Israeli police concluded its statement by saying: “The Israeli police won’t deprive anyone of the freedom to demonstrate in a democratic country, but at the same time we will not allow violent, inciting and threatening speech”.
For his part, the head of the Israeli opposition, Yair Lapid, condemned the threat to assassinate Netanyahu, and said in a tweet on his Twitter: “Any incitement and violence only harms the war to save the country… I call on all those who love the country to demonstrate, protest and take to the streets, but uphold the law, do not lead to violence”.
Earlier Saturday evening, tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv and other cities, for the fifth consecutive week, to protest a government plan to reform the judiciary.
Last month, Israeli Minister of Justice Levin announced his plan to reform the judiciary, which the opposition described as a coup, while the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended it by saying that it aims to restore balance between the authorities.
The controversial plan aims to put the government in control of the judge appointment committee and limit the powers of the Supreme Court, which is the highest judicial authority in Israel.