'They want to destroy Israel.' Ben-Ari
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Just hours after the Knesset approved a motion calling for a parliamentary investigation into the activity of B'Tselem, Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence and other groups, National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari referred to members of the leftist organizations as "traitors who must be persecuted at any cost."
Speaking at an SOS Israel conference in Jerusalem Wednesday evening, Ben-Ari called the leftists "germs" and "enemies of Israel."
The rightist lawmaker went as far as equating the leftist organizations to Hamas and Hezbollah.
In an audio tape obtained by Ynet, Ben-Ari can be heard saying, "Elements that want to destroy the Jewish state are operating within the State of Israel. They are nothing short of traitors. They are persecuting IDF soldiers and want to castrate our resilience.
"I see the people from Peace Now; they each have a private car. Every clerk has the finest equipment. Who funds all of this? The greatest Israel haters are funding this. If we'll have to enact a law in the Knesset to eradicate this dangerous enemy, that is what we'll do. Such a germ can destroy Israeli society. This enemy threatens the state's existence," he added.
Extreme rightist Itamar Ben-Gvir, who also attended the conference, called on activists to protest outside the homes of the leaders of the leftist groups "and explain to their neighbors that these are people who harm IDF soldiers and cause Israel damage.
"We must also face them on the legal front – file lawsuits and show them we are not suckers. Those who harm the State of Israel and its soldiers will be punished," he said.
In addition to the mass support from right-wing factions, the proposal to set up an inquiry commission into the activity of leftist groups was also backed by three members of Kadima, which heads the opposition. "We must erect a democratic and Zionist barrier against the use of human rights claims at the expense of Israeli patriotism," MK Otniel Schneller said.
"These organizations apparently have a good reason for concealing their funding sources," he said.
Kadima MK Yulia Shamalov Berkovich said, "When I see Israeli organizations that harm the only consensus in Israel – the soldiers – I want to know how this happens."
MK Robert Tiviaev, who also voted in favor of an investigation, said "groups such as Adalah cannot be allowed to operate against the IDF."
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