Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) on Saturday night posted a long, musing entry about the aftermath of the Friday morning arson case in which a Palestinian baby was burned to death and his family sustained serious injuries. Jewish extremists have been blamed for the crime.
Bennett had been invited to address a rally in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv Saturday night, protesting the stabbing of six men and women at the pro-homosexual parade in Jerusalem, but at the last minute, the rally organizers rescinded the invitation.
Bennett wrote (some of the text has been redacted):
“I spent the whole Shabbat at the bedside of my father, who is very ill, at Rambam Hospital in Haifa. In the hospital there’s no meaning to race, religion, color, sexual orientation, political stance. They’re all human beings.
“Khaled from Umm al-Fahm, who was lying in another bed, and suffers from a similar illness. Geula from Haifa, the wondrous nurse (for 40 years!) who fills us all with hope and joy.
“Nurse Elias from the village of Mi’ilya, with whom I changed dad’s clothes, and we even managed to walk 20 steps with my father last night.
“Julia, the typing nurse.
“They’re all human beings. They were all created in the image of God.
“Each one has a special soul, a family, a desire to live in dignity.
“I kept thinking about the last moments in the life of Ali Saad Dawabsha who burned to death, about his parents who tried to save him from the fire, and about his family members who are fighting for their lives right now.
“And I thought of marchers in the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem that an evildoer stabbed in the back just because of who they are.
“On Friday, the [Saturday night] rally organizers invited me to speak. I readily agreed because I am the Minister of Education of all the children of Israel, and I believe that even if our opinions differ, you should never, ever raise a hand [in violence].
“Immediately [after Shabbat was over], I went to my car, but on the way from Haifa to the rally, organizers announced the cancellation of my participation.
“Different opinions are fine; violence never. Never, under any circumstances.”
Anyone who wants to find me next to him in the struggle for tolerance and human dignity — I’ll be the first one there.
Those who want to shut my side’s mouths — will find me opposite them. It goes hand in hand — tolerance must always be in both directions.
I will not accept under any circumstances the attempt to blacken the wonderful 430,000 Israelis living in Judea and Samaria, these so-called ‘settlers.’…
In recent years, countless Jews were killed in this country, including babies Adele Bitton and Shalhevet Paz (shot in the head by a Palestinian sniper), and the Fogel family who were slaughtered in their sleep.
Murder is murder is murder.
The difference is simple: our whole country rightfully condemns the murder. This is the meaning of Jewish ethics. On the Palestinian side, the leadership celebrates the murders [of Jews], and turns those killers into heroes.
This is the entire difference.