Former IAF Pilot Zeev Raz Threatens to Kill Netanyahu & Then Retracts Statement; Bibi Says, “Boundaries Were Crossed”
Edited by: Fern Sidman
Israeli Colonel (Res.) Zeev Raz, one of the leaders of the anti-Netanyahu protest movement and a former IAF fighter pilot who bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, recently issued a threat against the life of the prime minister and then attempted to retract his comment.
Raz seemingly called to murder the Prime Minister on the charges of “rodef”, a traditional Jewish law that allows bystanders to preemptively kill a potential murderer, as was reported by the Vois Es Nais web site.
VIN reported that the level of incitement in the anti-Netanyahu camp has risen significantly in the last few days, with attorney David Chodek stating during a Lawyers Association conference that “I won’t refrain from using live fire if they force me to live under a dictatorship.”
Chodek’s incendiary statement went unchecked despite the presence of former Supreme Court judge Chanan Meltzer, VIN reported. One of the lawyers present, attorney Anat Kaufman, later called his words “violent, criminal language” but was not allowed to continue her speech.
Responding to what Hodek said, Raz wrote on Facebook, “I am amazed by the Hodek’s mildness. Only defense with a weapon? Passiveness? Cupping therapy for a dead person,” he wrote, referring to Attorney David Hodek.
Raz wrote that “If a Prime Minister gets up and takes the authority of a dictator, that Prime Minister is a dead man, it’s that simple, together with his ministers and those who work with him. We also have to have the law of ‘rodef,’ as was reported by VIN.
Raz continued: “My rodef law states: If a man, Israeli or foreign, takes over my country and rules it undemocratically, there is an obligation to kill him. It’s not polite, and it makes me shudder, but the other option is many innocent deaths, and it is better to kill criminals. I am preparing a detailed declaration on the matter.”
Raz later denied that the post was his, saying it was the statement of another person who had later retracted, VIN reported. However, Israeli political pundit Amit Segal did not buy Raz’s retraction and denial, stating that Raz is “an inciter, a liar and a coward”.
In response to Raz’s post, VIN reported that the Likud released a statement stating: “The incitement against the Prime Minister is breaking records of insanity. We are shocked by Zeev Raz’s calls to murder Prime Minister Netanyahu and the ministers in the government. ISA and the police must work immediately to arrest him and anyone else who incites against the government.”
National Unity Party chairman Benny Gantz condemned Raz’s remarks in a conversation with Israel National News, as was reported by VIN. He said: “I strongly condemn any call for violence or incitement. It is forbidden to be dragged into these areas, and no one has the authority to incite, no matter how much they contributed to the country. We will fight the police coup in the streets, in the parliament and through other means, not through incitement and calls to murder.”
Opposition leader Yair Lapid condemned Ze’ev Raz’s comments against Netanyahu, VIN reported. “I strongly condemn any incitement and the call to preemptively kill Netanyahu. This fight is for the soul of the country. Any incitement and violence only harm the war to save the country. I call on all lovers of the country to demonstrate, protest, take to the streets, but keep the law, do not give in to violence.”
Israel National News reported that Netanyahu commented on Saturday night, before his departure from Paris to Israel, on the incitement against him by former Israel Air Force pilot Ze’ev Raz.
“In recent weeks we have witnessed a growing wave of incitement, borders are crossed every day. It seemed that all borders were crossed with threats against elected officials and me, but it turns out they were not – because today we heard and saw a threat of murder. An explicit threat for the assassination of a prime minister in Israel,” said the Prime Minister, according to the INN report.
“I know there is a debate about what endangers democracy, but it is not something that is subject to debate – it is a real threat to democracy,” Netanyahu added.
He stressed, “I expect the law enforcement agencies and the security agencies, who spoke clearly and sharply during the previous government about much less serious phenomena, to come out with at least the same severity and with the same clarity against this horrifying phenomenon. I expect the law enforcement agencies to act immediately against those who incite or threaten with murder, and I also expect the leaders of the opposition to speak with the same firmness and with the same intensity that I spoke.”
“We are in difficult times and we need intentions to do what is required of us as other public leaders. We must not be silent about this matter,” Netanyahu concluded, as was reported by INN.
On Saturday night, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) chief Ronen Bar spoke with the Commissioner of the Israel Police, Yaakov Shabtai, amid the rise in violent and inciteful discourse against elected officials in general and the Prime Minister in particular, INN reported.
In the conversation, INN reported that Bar noted that in recent days a rise in the amount and severity of public remarks, with emphasis on social media, which call for physical harm and violent action against the Prime Minister and other elected officials was noticed.
The two concluded that a zero-tolerance policy would be taken by law enforcement against anyone who incites violence or calls to harm public figures or elected officials, as well as anyone who calls to harm protesters.