Lahav Harkov
The Jerusalem Post (Analysis)
November 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin planned to slam “price tag” vandalism, calling it “Jewish terrorism,” during a special Knesset session in memory of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin on Wednesday.

Rivlin released on Tuesday his speech for the upcoming memorial session, during which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish and opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) were scheduled to speak.

“Rabin’s assassination carries two messages on democracy: We must have zero tolerance for political violence, and at the same time, we must avoid demonization of political groups and minorities,” Rivlin wrote. “We must avoid gross and negligent generalizations, as those who opposed Oslo faced after the murder.”

The Knesset Speaker will call on MKs to remember that “in the days following the assassination, legitimate democratic discourse was silenced in Israel,” and that “kippah-wearers, pioneering settlers and those on the right [became known as] enemies of peace, instigators and partners to murder.”

“The phenomenon known as ‘price tag’ is perhaps the clearest test of our ability to implement these lessons,” according to Rivlin.

“First of all, this is not a ‘price’ or a ‘tag,’ this is terror,” he planned to say. “These villainous criminals, who harmed houses of prayer, fields, homes and property belonging to Palestinians, are Jewish , and this is ‘Jewish terrorism,’ that should be called nothing else.”

“’Price tag’ acts are the biggest threat on the Zionist vision, greater than Arab terror or even the Iranian threat.”

“At the same time, we must remember, especially on this day, that not only cheapening the blood of Arabs is dangerous, but so is cheapening the blood of Jewish people due to negligent generalizations,” Rivlin’s speech reads. “We still have not learned this lesson.”

“How many times have we heard the claim that there was ‘another price tag act by settlers?’ How many times are the people sitting on the wrong side of the Green Line called criminals that are on the outside of legitimate public discourse,” he planned to ask.

“Just as Rabin’s murder is not a code name for Oslo opponents, ‘price tag’ is not the name of the pioneering, glorious settlement movement that is faithful to Israel and its laws,” Rivlin wrote.

According to Rivlin, haredim face the same demonization, in which “harmful marginal groups” are portrayed as the norm.

“This does not strengthen democracy, does not strengthen Israeli society and does not prevent the threat of violence – it does the opposite,” his speech read.


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