In the midst of an increasingly heated debate over the proper treatment of Jewish terrorists, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that there is no room for comparison between Jewish and Arab acts of terrorism.
At the government’s weekly meeting, Netanyahu said, “There is a difference between Arab terror and Jewish terror,” pointing out, “Here we condemn and they [the Palestinians] praise.”
In the Palestinian Authority, streets and public squares are often named in honor of terrorists, and the families of terrorists killed or imprisoned by Israel are rewarded financially by the PA government.
He added that while Jewish terror is limited and relatively rare, Arab terror is “incessant” and “wide-spread.”
While there are acts of Jewish terror, the major difference is in the societal views of it. “There is a difference between Israeli society’s healthy attitude, which condemns terror and works against it, and the Palestinian Authority’s, which encourages terror and incites,” Netanyahu said.
“I suggest we remember these distinctions at a time when we are fighting terror and inciters, wherever they may be,” he added.
The words come as Israel is embroiled in a furious internal debate over the treatment of Jewish right-wing extremists accused of firebombing a Palestinian home in Duma, killing three. The suspects, a group of unidentified young men considered to be part of a radical right-wing religious movement, are currently in detention. Attorneys for the suspects have made allegations that they have been tortured and mistreated by the Shin Bet, Israel’s security agency.
While many have protested the alleged abuse, accusing the government of discrimination against the Jewish terrorists, others have come out in support of the government and Shin Bet.
In his Sunday statement, Netanyahu said that the Shin Bet “is doing important work, and is acting according to the law and under legal oversight and according to government policy to combat terror.”