You are on page 1of 3

Netanyahu's Speech at Scene of Tel Aviv Shooting: A Shameful, Fear-spreading

Horror Show
The prime minister proved that he has not lost his penchant for hatred and
inciting against minorities, for seizing every tragedy to make political hay. It was
low, even by his own standards.
Yossi Verter Jan 03, 2016 12:39 AM

Netanyahu at the site of a shooting that killed two and wounded seven in Tel
Aviv, December 2, 2016.Ofer Vaknin
Netanyahu to Israeli Arabs: I will not accept lawless state within Israel
Tel Aviv shooting: Israel security establishment's alarms failed to sound
Manhunt still underway for Tel Aviv shooter
Benjamin Netanyahu is no stranger to Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street in a state of
post-traumatic stress. On the morning of October 19, 1994, a suicide bomber
blew up a No. 5 bus on the trendy, beloved thoroughfare, about 100 meters from
Friday’s shooting. In one of the worst terror attacks the city has ever seen, 20
people were killed and over 30 were wounded. Even before all the bodies were
removed from the destroyed vehicle, then-opposition leader Netanyahu arrived
on the scene, bodyguards in tow. He blasted then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin,
accusing him of personal responsibility for the attack, together with thenPalestinian President Yasser Arafat.
Twenty-one years have passed, an eternity. Netanyahu has been prime minster
for 10 of these years. For the past seven years, he has been solely responsible
for the security of Israel’s citizens. Our leader’s hair has turned white, and

presumably he has grown in wisdom, experience and judgment. But he has not
lost his penchant for making generalizations, for spreading fear and hatred and
for inciting against minorities; for pouncing on every opportunity, every tragedy,
to make some political hay and to reap an instant electoral harvest.
Netanyahu’s speech on Saturday — at the scene where two young men were shot
to death and 10 more people were wounded, with dozens of memorial candles
flickering at his feet — was Bibi at his worst. Not containing, not calming, not
leading — a small politician. He was not ashamed to mention — presumably on
orders from his wife, who was recovering at home from being questioned by the
police fraud unit for hours on Thursday — her investigation session – that their
two sons are around the same ages as the victims. He only forgot to mention
that as the prime minister’s children, Yair and Avner are followed by a security
detail at all times. They, thank God, are protected.
Everything else he said was a harsh, shameful, near-racist diatribe against
Israel’s Arabs. He described the whole community, as gun-toting criminals and
potential terrorists. “I will not accept two states within Israel,” Netanyahu
said. Israel, he said, cannot be a lawful state for some and lawless for others,
where “there are enclaves without law enforcement.”
He’s been saying the same inflammatory things for seven years. Who’s stopping
him from eliminating the illegal guns in Arab communities? Who’s stopped him
from “drawing up a very expensive plan to uproot the phenomenon, to build more
police stations in Arab communities, to hire more police officers,” as he vowed to
do Saturday? Who’s stopping him from imposing law and order? Opposition
leader Isaac Herzog and his Zionist Union colleague Tzipi Livni? The left-wing
nongovernmental organization Breaking the Silence? Joint Arab List MK Ahmad
Tibi? President Reuven Rivlin? And has he launched a broad plan to clear weapons
from the problematic settlements in the wake of the terror attack in Duma,
which was allegedly perpetrated by Jewish youths living on the West Bank
His sweaty attack Saturday night on the whole Arab public was cynical and
shameless, even by the low standards to which he has accustomed us over the
years. One might infer from his remarks that since the shooting, which was
perpetrated by a young, apparently unstable, man from the Wadi Ara town of
Arara, the entire “sector” has been celebrating the murder and calling for
similar acts.
It is precisely the opposite. The suspect’s father, a volunteer in the Israel
Police for the past 30 years, notified the authorities after recognizing his son in
security videos on television. All of Arara’s leaders condemned the act and

disavowed the suspect. There were no calls or acts of solidarity with the crime
in other Arab communities in Israel.
Rather, for the past 110 days Israel has been in the clutches of a terror that
Netanyahu and his cabinet ministers have not been able to end. Most of the
perpetrators have come from the eastern part of “forever united” Jerusalem,
according to the empty saying trumpeted by Netanyahu and company for a
generation. With few exceptions, the rest of the Arab public has not joined this
bloody violence. Even the outlawing of the northern branch of the Islamic
Movement in Israel was accepted relatively quietly. So why the hell was it so
important for Netanyahu to ignite this strange, wicked fire against his own
citizens? The answer seems clear. He came to take a ride, as he did back in
October 1994. Reconciliation and reassurance aren’t his thing.
Netanyahu looked like a stranger in Tel Aviv. The sanest, most tolerant, liberal
and open city in the country found it difficult to digest his horror show. Young
men and women, friends of the victims in the attack, have given many interviews
since the events of Friday afternoon. They, who saw the terrible scene with
their own eyes, spoke calmly and without hatred. They did not spit their words.
Of course, Mayor Ron Huldai also maintained sanity. Until Netanyahu came for a
visit. He stood in a dark place, where two young people had been murdered, and
coolly incited against one-fifth of his country’s population.
The murderer has not yet been caught. Senior police officials are keeping silent
on orders from their new commissioner, who emerged from the basements of
the Shin Bet security service. For 110 days, Israel’s citizens, especially in
Jerusalem, have felt exposed and unsafe under the leadership of “Mr. Security,”
and Netanyahu is playing politics.

Yossi Verter
Haaretz Contributor
read more: