Israelis who took issue with Likud MK Miri Regev’s comments this week about infiltrators from Africa took things a bit too far on Friday.
According to a report on Channel 2 News, a photo of Regev wearing an SS uniform and doing the Nazi salute was disseminated on Facebook on Friday.
The photo came following repeated personal attacks aimed at Regev on her Facebook page, and after many users purposely reported her page as spreading hate in order to get it shut down by the social network.
During a rally in south Tel Aviv against Israel's growing illegal immigrant population on Wednesday evening, Regev said that “we will not allow” illegal immigration to “spread like a cancer in our society.” It was her use of the word "cancer" to describe the infiltrators that raised Facebook users' ire.
After the rally some protesters smashed windows, lit garbage cans on fire, and damaged a car that had three illegal aliens in it. No one was hurt in the incident. On Thursday police arrested 12 people on suspicion of attacking the vehicle, and running riot.
According to Channel 2, some users actually expressed support for the photo depicting Regev as an SS soldier, while others condemned the photo and asked that it be removed it. “This is incitement and the photo must be deleted immediately,” wrote one, the report said.
MK Regev herself was unfazed by the unprecedented attack directed at her Facebook page and told Channel 2 News, “I do not know what hate speech is on my page, you may want to look at other pages. My page reflects the situation, my feelings, what I saw and I the speech I made about infiltrators at the Knesset plenum.”
On Thursday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rebuked those MKs who took part in the rally, saying, “I want to make it clear that there is no place for the statements or actions that we saw last night. I say this both to public officials as well as to the residents of southern Tel Aviv, whose pain I understand.”
In addition to Regev, MK Danny Danon – who chairs the Knesset committee tasked with preventing illegal immigration to Israel – was also at the rally and declared to demonstrators, "The state of Israel is at war with an enemy state that has formed within Israel and has its capital in southern Tel Aviv!"
Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced on Thursday that he will impose fines on any mayors who employ immigrants from Africa.
Yishai announced that he plans to distribute a letter next week, in which he will demand that all mayors end, within 30 days, the employment of all African immigrants, or else they will be fined.
Speaking in an interview on Channel 2 News, Yishai said, “Any local authority that will employ infiltrators - we will act directly against the head of that local authority. Let them employ Israelis instead. Infiltrators belong in the same country from which they came.”
At the same time, Yishai condemned the conduct of some Knesset members, saying, “The fight against infiltration would have been much better managed without the unnecessary fervor of politicians in recent days.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)