Israeli Official Incitement: February 2020

Israeli Incitement Reports
March 03, 2020


Israeli Official Incitement: February 2020

This report includes examples of recent inciting statements by senior Israeli officials, including Knesset members, against the Palestinian people and leadership and the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). It also highlights the fierce wave of incitement, ahead of the third Israeli elections in less than a year, against the indigenous Palestinian citizens of Israel and their representatives in the Knesset.


I. Human Rights Council: on the release of the UN Database of Businesses operating in Israel’s illegal settlements in occupied Palestine


Israel Katz Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Intelligence, MK Likud (Yedioth Ahronoth – via Israel News Today, 13 February)

 “The announcement of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is disgraceful capitulation to pressure from countries and organizations that want to hurt Israel. The decision to continue the anti-Israel line of the Human Rights Council is a stain on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.”

Benny Gantz MK chairman of Blue and White Party (Ma’arive, via Israel News Today, 13 February)

“This is a black day for human rights. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has lost touch with reality.”

Benjamin Netanyahu Prime Minister, MK Chairman of Likud party (Twitter, 12 February)

“Whoever is boycotting us is boycotting themselves The UN Human Rights Council is a biased and uninfluential body, it is not out of the blue that I have instructed earlier to severe any contacts with this body and it is not out of the blue that the US administration took such a step with us (...)”

Yair Lapid MK Chairman of Blue and White party (Twitter, 12 February)

“The UN Commissioner of terrorists’ rights is invited to throw the list it released today in the garbage. Israel will not accept any dictations from an organization that has repeatedly proven to be biased and anti-Semitic. The 'Black List' published today solely honors the haters of the Jews who composed it. Once we form the government we will work against them without hesitation.”

II. The Indigenous Palestinian Citizens of Israel


Avi Dichter – MK Likud (Facebook, 28 February)

“The deal of the century of the left and the Arab Joint List: Amir Peretz has now revealed the 'deal of the century' of the left. Gantz together with Meretz (who supports the payment of salaries to terrorists), with the support of the Arab Joint list (that are demanding the right of the return of the Palestinians and undermining the Zionist vision and supporting paying salaries to terrorists) and Lieberman with them (…) All of them together want to establish a dangerous government for Israel (…) Only Likud is facing them with a clear right-wing line, which promotes the deal of the century that brings sovereignty to the settlements in Judea and Samaria 1 and continues to defend and maintain the security of Israel and its Zionist future(…)”

Naftali Bennett – Minister of ‘Defense’, MK The New Right (Facebook, 27 February)

“We gave our final approval to the construction of 1800 housing units in Judea and Samaria2 (…) No to a Palestinian state of any kind (including “demilitarized”). Yes to construction and imposing sovereignty!”

Miri Regev – Minister of Culture and Sport, MK Likud (Facebook, 27 February)

“Ayman Odeh3 wants to run the country and control Gantz, he promises to make Darwish4  a national poet. The Arab Joint List does not really represent the Arabs of Israel, it solely aims at undermining the State of Israel.”

Naftali Bennett – Minister of ‘Defense’, MK The New Right (Facebook, 26 February)

“I prefer that the mothers of 1,000 terrorists cry than the mother of one IDF soldier.”

Shlomo Karhi – MK Likud in response to Yair Lapid MK Chairman of Blue and White party (Twitter, 23 February)

“You will not have a Jewish majority or a Zionist majority, because everyone understands that you are serving al-Tibi and Odeh 5. A Corruption government in cooperation with terrorist supporters 6 jeopardizes the security of the State of Israel.” 

Benjamin Netanyahu – Prime Minister, MK Chairman of Likud party (Facebook, 17 February)  

“A government in which the joint list is involved will constitute a threat to Israel’s security. Only a strong Likud party will form a strong right wing government, and will protect Israel and ensure that no left-wing government supported by Ahman al-Tibi will be established.”  

Bezalel Smotrich – Minister of Transportation and Road Safety, MK Likud (Facebook, 17 February)

“Gantz, come to the podium and announce your commitment to refrain from forming a government in cooperation with terrorists’ supporters 7(…) I have explained that I do not expect anything from the Arab parliament members, they are hypercritics, the State of Israel has been good to them for many years, it treats them so well but receives mud in return (…) how will you form a government with terrorists’ supporters?!(...)”

Avi Dichter – MK Likud (Facebook, 10 February)

“Heba Yazbak – shame! The miserable decision of the Supreme Court 8 is unjust and illogical! It is our responsibility as members of the Parliament not to allow terror supporters to sit in the Israeli Knesset    (…) the haters of Jews and terror suppporters – not in the Knesset of Israel (…) we must enact a law that would prohibit the entry of any person to the parliament who sees terror as legal, and considers a martyr a hero and supports paying monthly salaries to a terrorist who killed people (...)”

III. President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Leadership: ahead of the President’s speech at the UNSC on 11 February and his meeting with Israel’s former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. 


Danny Danon – Israel’s Permanent Representative to the UN in an Op-Ed published in Israel Hayom Newspaper (Israel Hayom, 11 February)

“An individual who dedicates himself to incitement against Israel, to the indoctrination of children with hatred toward Israel and the Jews, and who backs and sponsors the "pay-for-slay" policy, paying tens of millions of dollars to terrorists and their families cannot be called a partner for peace (…) We must not encourage a man who rewards terrorism and violence against Israel. Olmert would be wise to come to his senses and stand by his country – not undermine it for the whole world to see.”

Benjamin Netanyahu – Prime Minister, MK Chairman of Likud party (Facebook, 6 February)

“ (…) I want to say something to Abu Mazen as well: this won’t help you – neither stabbings, nor running over, nor sniping, nor incitement. We will do everything possible to defend our security, define our borders, and ensure our future. We will do this with or without you.”

Benjamin Netanyahu – Prime Minister, MK Chairman of Likud party re-tweeted Likud party’s post on 6 February

“We urge Benny Gantz to make it clear to his close friend and adviser, Ehud Olmert, this is not the time to meet with Abu Mazen to work against the 'deal of the century'. At this time, we should stand by President Trump and the national interest of the State of Israel - and not support those who incite and encourage terror against our soldiers.” 


Eli Cohen  Minister of Economy and Industry, MK Likud (Twitter, 6 February)

“ (…)The one who wanted to give the Temple Mount 9in return for nothing, and the other10 who supports terrorism and does not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, they are working together against the best friend Israel has ever had in the White House (…)”

Miri Regev – Minister of Culture and Sport, MK Likud (Facebook, 1 February)

“Abu Mazen claims that the State of Israel is not a Jewish state and promises that he will propose an alternative plan to the deal of the century. It is possible to speculate that according to his plan the Jews’ place will be in the sea and the State of “Palestine” will be from the river to the sea (…)”

 IV. Additional Examples


Ayalet Shaked Chairwoman of The New Right party (Facebook, 25 February)

“To prevent the disaster of a Palestinian State and to impose sovereignty, we are in need of a strong “Yamina” with large representation in the government.”

Naftali Bennett – Minister of ‘Defense’, MK The New Right (Twitter, 23 February)

“We are fed up with the left’s vicious criticism regarding the "inhumanity" when a bulldozer is used to get us the body of a terrorist 11 who tried to murder (!) Israelis (…) I will be more firm and clear: my policy of collecting terrorists’ bodies and collecting live terrorists will continue.  I support the IDF who killed the terrorist and collected his body, this should be done and this is what we will do, they will not stop us.”

Bezalel Smotrich - Minister of Transportation and Road Safety, MK Likud before Israeli Knesset (Parliament) (Middle East Eye on twitter, 19 February)

“With all this talk about Donald Trump, and the deal of the century, as you know we oppose the idea of a Palestinian state and we will fight with all our power against its establishment. As you know there is no such thing as Palestinian people so that there can be a Palestinian state. Not today, not tomorrow, not in this or that border, not by this name and not by other names…”

Naftali Bennett – Minister of ‘Defense’, MK The New Right party (Twitter, 8 February)

“ (…) I call upon the Prime Minister Netanyahu to ask the cabinet for an immediate vote on the imposition of sovereignty on Judea and Samaria 12. Prime Minister we will support you. Without sovereignty, a Palestinian terror state will be established with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Bezalel Smotrich – Minister of Transportation and Road Safety, MK Likud (Twitter, 6 February)

“The best way to ‘bring about an immediate calm to Judea and Samaria' 13 is to immediately apply Israeli sovereignty over settlements and uproot the hopes of the Arabs to remove us from there. It is this hope that drives the wheels of terror and motivates it, and when it is not there, there will be no terror.”

Yoaz Hendel – MK Blue and White party in an interview with Ha’aretz newspaper on 7 February

“ I believe that the Arab culture around us is like a forest. There is a clear violation of every single principle of human rights (…) These rights have not yet been born there, they have not yet reached the stage where human rights can exist. There are no rights for women, there are no rights for minorities and there is no education. The majority of Arab countries are failed dictatorships, and therefore all the agreements that we make in the region are limited, and peace is not peace between peoples because there is no culture of peace and tolerance.”



  • 1. In reference to the occupied West Bank of the State of Palestine.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Knesset member of the Joint List Party.
  • 4. In reference to Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.
  • 5. Ahmad Al-Tibi and Ayman Odeh are Knesset members of the Joint List party.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. In reference to Knesset members of the Joint List party.
  • 8. Heba Yazbak, Knesset member of the Joint List party. On 29 January 2020, the Israeli Central Elections Commission voted in favor of disqualifying MK Yazbak from running in the Israeli elections. The ruling by the Elections Commission was moved to the Supreme Court that decided on 9 February 2020 to overturn the ruling.  
  • 9. In reference to the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound.
  • 10. In reference to President Mahmoud Abbas.
  • 11. On 23 February, Israeli occupation forces killed two Palestinians near Israel's fence around the Gaza Strip.  A video that went viral on social media showed an Israeli bulldozer (escorted by a tank) holding the martyr's body up by his clothing.    
  • 12. In reference to the occupied West Bank of the State of Palestine.
  • 13. Ibid.
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