Before flying from Paris to Israel on Sunday morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out about the rising anti-Israel sentiment and the specific death threat issued by former IAF pilot Ze’ev Raz.
“In recent weeks, we have seen a rising tide of provocation; daily lines are being crossed. After threats against elected officials and me, it appeared as though all legal restrictions had been broken.
However, today, we have heard and seen a threat of murder. A direct threat to kill an Israeli prime minister, according to Netanyahu
Netanyahu continued, “I realize there is debate about what threatens democracy, but it is not something that is up for discussion – it is a genuine threat to democracy.
He emphasized, “I expect the law enforcement institutions and the security services to come out with at least the same severity and clarity against this horrible situation.
During the previous government, they spoke clearly and powerfully against much less critical phenomena. I expect law enforcement agencies to take prompt action against anyone who threatens or incites murder. I also hope the opposition leaders speak with the same sternness and enthusiasm I did.
“These are trying times, and we need the will to carry out our responsibilities as other public officials. We cannot remain mute on this issue, said Netanyahu.
The charges of “rodef,” a customary Jewish law that permits bystanders to kill a prospective murderer preemptively, appeared to justify the apparent assassination of Prime Minister Netanyahu by Raz, a former fighter pilot and one of the protest movement’s organizers.
According to journalist Irit Linor, Raz had previously employed such venom. Raz used similar threats against a right-wing writer who authored pieces endorsing Netanyahu in 2019, writing to her that “Bibi deserves a bullet in the head, he is enemy number one of the state of Israel and the people of Israel.”
Police launched a criminal inquiry into Raz after getting the attorney general’s office’s legal opinion and acting on the allegation that Raz had threatened the prime minister and incited others to do so.
The case will be looked into by Lahav 433’s cyber division, which looks into white-collar offenses.
After discussing the rise in shrill and violent rhetoric in public discourse, particularly on social media, Shin Bet head Ronen Bar and Police Chief Yaakov Shabtai concluded that law enforcement would adopt a zero-tolerance policy against anyone who incites violence or calls to harm public figures or elected officials as well as anyone who calls to harm protesters.