Minister Condemns 'Price Tag' Attack as 'Anti-Zionist Crime'
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (HaTnua) sharply criticized the "price tag" phenomenon on Monday afternoon, in light of vandalism to an IDF vehicle carried out Sunday in the Samaria town of Yitzhar.
"This violence already has a label - 'price tag' - designed to hide the truth: that this is nationalist violence, not to mention terror," Livni wrote on her Facebook page.
She added that "all 'price tag' has a price" and that vandalism and graffiti against the state "detracts from the strength of the IDF, lessens cohesion within the Jewish people and harms Israel's status in the world."
"'Price tag' is an Anti-Zionist crime," she continued. "We will not remain silent about this dangerous phenomenon. We will demand a public condemnation [of the attacks], uncompromising enforcement of the law and the doling out of appropriate punishment for these crimes."
A suspect for the 'price tag' attack, which saw IDF Samaria Brigade Colonel Yoav Yoram's tires slashed on Sunday, was arrested earlier Monday in Jerusalem. The suspect learns in a yeshiva [Torah academy] in the Old City of Jerusalem but is suspected to be linked to Yitzhar.
The attack has been linked to local outrage in the community, after the IDF tore down a new house last week belonging to Avi and Shoshana Lazar. The Lazar family was due to move into their new home this week with five children.
Several politicians have condemned the price tag attack, including Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, who called the vandalism "terror."
Livni has a history of issuing forceful statements against "price tag" attacks. In May, she posted a statement on Facebook in Arabicpromising to "obliterate" the phenomenon. In June, she proposed a bill that would deem the incidents "terror attacks," sparking a backlash, as well as mockery by legal experts.
More recently, the Minister welcomed the news that three Samaria men had been arrested for alleged involvement in 'price tag' attacks, vowing in February to stop the phenomenon.
"Criminals who carry out 'price tag' [attacks] will be dealt with relentlessly and with the utmost severity," she said at the time.
"This is an ugly nationalistic crime that stems from hatred that seeks to offend, provoke violence and undermine negotiations," Livni continued. "Israel is a law abiding country, and our society is based on democratic values of equality and tolerance - and we are determined to keep it so."