Incitement Prompts Security Detail for Incoming Israeli Justice Minister
Israel’s Knesset has issued a security detail to incoming Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked after recent incitement against her on social media – including a Facebook post depicting her in a Nazi uniform.
The decision was made by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, in conjunction with the parliamentary body’s security officials.
“We were shocked to see specific threats to Shaked’s life,” Edelstein told Israeli army radio on Monday.
“A picture of her in SS uniform was published. The Knesset officer decided to put a security detail on her. We will not allow threats on MKs, no matter their political view,” Edelstein vowed.
Many posted comments on social media about Shaked’s somewhat surprising and controversial appointment. Some of the statements were extremist in nature and have led some to believe that further incitement may follow.
The picture depicting Shaked as a Nazi was posted on her wall by a pro-Palestinian Facebook page called Toto Che Handala on Monday, claiming she opposes any peace agreement with the Palestinians and supports their “genocide.” The original page that posted the picture has since been shut down.
Images of Israeli politicians photo-shopped into SS garb hold particularly disturbing connotations in Israeli political history. Before Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in 1995, posters of him in SS uniform were circulated at some anti-government demonstrations – distributed, in part, by Shin Bet agent provocateur Avishai Raviv. Some view the development as part of the atmosphere of incitement that eventually led to his assassination by Yigal Amir.
Several other Israeli politicians from both the right and the left have been portrayed in such a manner, including the Zionist Camp’s Tzipi Livni and Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid last November in a Facebook post criticizing their political views.
This is also not the first time this year that an Israeli politician has been depicted in Nazi uniform by a pro-Palestinian group. In January 2015, Palestinian political faction Fatah published a photo of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wearing an SS uniform on its Facebook page.