Netanyahu calls comments to erase Palestinian village ‘inappropriate’
Tel Aviv, Israel –
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says statements by key ministers calling for Palestinian villages to be wiped out are inappropriate Sunday’s Twitter threadafter the US requested that the statement be rejected.
In a thread posted in English shortly after midnight, Netanyahu did not appear to outright condemn the remarks, hinting that his ally, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, made a mistake. and thanked Smotrich for “clarifying his choice of words.” It was “inappropriate”. Most of the thread urged the international community to hold Palestinians to blame for the attacks against Israelis.
It appeared to be his first public response to Smotrich’s remarks since it took place Wednesday.
Netanyahu’s Twitter thread highlights how the Israeli leader has had to balance the ideology of far-right members of his government with the expectations of Israel’s main ally, the United States.Smotrich is one of several ultranationalist parties that make up the Netanyahu government, the most right-wing government in Israeli history.
Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank rampaged in the Palestinian village of Hawala last week, and earlier in the day two Israeli brothers were killed in a Palestinian shooting attack. Later that week, Smotrich said the village should be wiped out by the Israeli army and by civilians.
Smotrich later recanted, saying he did not intend to obliterate the village, but meant that Israel would operate on Palestinian militants within it. Still, his earlier comments sparked international outcry. The US called them offensive and urged Netanyahu to “publicly and unequivocally reject and deny them.” The United Nations and Middle Eastern powers Egypt and Saudi Arabia also condemned Smotrich’s remarks.
In a Hebrew tweet posted around the same time as his English thread, Netanyahu said even foreign diplomats make mistakes. This is a clear reference to an Israeli Channel 12 report that US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides made derogatory remarks about Smotrich prior to his visit to Washington. This week he said he would “get him off the plane” if he could. A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy denied what he said.
In a tweet on Saturday, Smotrich wrote, “When he said he had to turn off the hawala, he had to throw me out of the plane just like I didn’t mean to hurt innocent people. I’m sure he didn’t mean to incite me to kill him,” he said.
Netanyahu wrote on Twitter that “it’s important that we all work together to soften the rhetoric” as the wave of violence between Israel and Palestine swirls.
“This includes speaking forcefully against inappropriate remarks and correcting what you say if you misspell it or use words out of context,” he posted. bottom.
Netanyahu then accused the Palestinian authorities of failing to condemn Palestinian attacks on Israelis, and the international community for failing to demand condemnation from Palestinians.
Israel has long argued that there is a double standard in what the international community expects of Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East War. Israel maintains her 55-year unrestricted occupation of the West Bank Palestinians and a blockade of the Gaza Strip with Egypt.