Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement Saturday night that he will demand the rescheduled Jerusalem Flag Dance March be cancelled this week.
Leftists & Hamas Call to Cancel Jerusalem Day Flag Dance March
Gantz met with IDF and Israel Police heads, the attorney general and other top security officials on Saturday to discuss the issue.
The defense minister said after the meeting that he will demand cancellation of the march — which has already been authorized by Israel Police — if it “demands extraordinary security measures and endangers public order and diplomatic processes.”
That last bit — “diplomatic processes” — is an oblique reference to the formation of the so-called “change government coalition” that is set to be sworn into office a few days after the march.
“Public leaders have a particular responsibility and it seems in the last few days that the necessary lessons from past events have not been learned,” the defense minister tweeted.
“Anyone who tries to delegitimize basic democratic processes and who lights the fire of incitement will be held responsible. I call on everyone to refrain from any displays of violence,” Gantz wrote.
“All public leaders must publicly, determinedly and actively speak out against violence in general and especially in the political arena.”
The tweets came following a rare warning by Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) director Nadav Argaman issued Saturday about skyrocketing incitement and hate speech on social media sites. Argaman said such incitement could lead individuals or groups to violence, and even to harm others.
“In recent days there has been an increase and serious radicalization in the violent and inciting discourse, especially that which occurs on social media,” Argaman warned.
“This is a discourse which includes severe statements, while using language and expressions of division, incitement, and even calls to violence and physical harm.
“It is our obligation to issue a clear and unambiguous call to immediately cease the inciting and violent discourse. The responsibility for calming and moderating the discourse is on every person’s shoulders,” Argaman added.