Israeli minister under 24/7 protection over threats from ‘Jews’
Israel’s minister of public security recently invoked the fury of right-wingers after he vowed to fight “settler violence.” The news was announced by the official in a Twitter post on Monday.
From now on, Omer Barlev will be under 24/7 protection due to threats he has faced, he said.
“Following my determined campaign against the Arab crime families, I hoped that the moment would not arrive when one of them would threaten me personally. But that is not the case. I am not under threat from Arab criminals — I am threatened by Israeli Jews,” Barlev wrote.
The minister, a member of the center-left Labor Party, did not reveal the nature of the threats or who made them. They likely came from hardline right-wing Jews, the fury of whom he invoked earlier this month.
Following a Monday meeting with Victoria Nuland, the US undersecretary of state for political affairs, Barlev revealed the two discussed West Bank “settler violence and how to reduce tensions in the area and strengthen the Palestinian Authority.” The left-wing politician also vowed to continue pursuing both Palestinian and Israeli extremists, without favoring any of the rivaling hardliners.
“I will continue to fight Palestinian terrorism as if there is no extremist settler violence – and extremist settler violence as if there is no Palestinian terrorism,” Barlev said at the time.
The remarks infuriated right-wing politicians, who accused Barlev of stigmatizing the entire Israeli settler community and pandering to Palestinians. Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, a top member of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s right-wing Yamina party, said the settlers “are the salt of the earth” for Israel, implying they were beyond reproach.
“The violence that one needs to be shocked by is the dozens of cases of the throwing of rocks and Molotov cocktails at Jews that occur every day, just because they are Jews, and all this with the encouragement and support of the Palestinian Authority,” she stated.
A similar stance was voiced by another right-wing official, the minister of religious services, Matan Kahana, who described the West Bank settlers as “pioneers” while urging Barlev to retract his “false and distorted” remarks.