An investigative report in this week's edition of Besheva, Arutz Shevai's sister paper, reveals that MK Elazar Stern (Hatunu'a) may have been involved in a cover up that involved preventing the filing of a police complaint against a youth to whom he is close.
The youth was said by those familiar with the incident to have been part of a group that sprayed anti-Arab graffiti in a “price tag” incident in a town in northern Israel, with expressions like “death to the Arabs” and “Mohammed is a pig” scrawled on buildings. Stern, according to those familiar with the incident, intervened with the town's leaders, convincing them not to file charges against the youth. Sources said that the youth was a relative of Stern's.
While not illegal, Stern's alleged behavior in the incident is a stark contrast with his attitude to a recent incident in which a youth was arrested last month for spitting at him. That incident occurred against the backdrop of a Knesset speech by Stern in which he claimed that Rabbi Dov Lior of Kiryat Arba said that Ethiopian immigrants are not Jews. The youth later expressed regret at the incident, saying that he had been emotionally overcome when he heard Rabbi Lior insulted by Stern.
Several people familiar with that incident said that members of his community in the northern town of Hoshaya, where both he and the youth lived, tried to persuade the MK not to file a complaint with police. Stern was determined to do so, however, and immediately contacted the press as well. Hatnu'a pointed to the incident as an example of the ongoing “incitement” of the right against leftist and center politicians, comparing the incident to the kind of incitement that they claimed led to the murder of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin.
“In that incident, they begged Stern not to file a complaint, but he did not listen, and ran to the media, which allowed Hatnu'a to make hay out of the incident,” one source told Besheva. “Now we see that when it comes to people he 'likes,' Stern is more than willing to make exceptions, keeping his dirty laundry inside and not running to the police or media.”
When asked about the incident, Stern refused to comment, Besheva said.