Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday slammed MK Amram Mitzna (Hatnua) for comparing the Jewish Home party to Hamas.
“Political debate must remain within the realms of honesty and fairness,” Netanyahu said. “Mitzna's comments crossed red lines in both those realms."
In response, Mitzna said that Netanyahu was hypocritical for not demanding from Jewish Home what he demands from Hamas, adding he would take back his comments if Jewish Home would recognize the "Palestinian right to have a state."
Earlier Thursday, Mitzna said that the Jewish Home party, a chief member of Netanyahu's coalition, has the same nature and kind of policies as Hamas.
"If you take Hamas and you take away the matter of the terror,” Mitzna told Israel Radio, “then you have, inside the Israeli government, an organization that operates with the same goals as Hamas. When the prime minister demands that the Palestinians accept the Quartet conditions, does he demand the same of the Jewish Home? Have we heard the Jewish Home say that it stands behind agreements that the governments of Israel signed, like Oslo?”
Mitzna was responding to comments by Jewish Home head Minister Naftali Bennett, who on Thursday morning said that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was as responsible as Hamas for terrorism because he failed to do anything about it.
Immediately after Netanyahu commented on the statements, Mitzna wrote on his Facebook page that the Prime Minister had taken his words out of context. “To all those who are misquoting me, I say they are crossing the red lines of honesty and fairness. I never compared Jewish Home to Hamas as a terror group, and I said this specifically."
“Is there anyone who claims that Hamas is willing to accept the two state solution? I am sure there is not. Is the Prime Minister demanding from Jewish Home the acceptance of all signed agreements – including the Oslo Accords – as he is demanding from Hamas?" asked Mitzna.
"Will he demand that Bennett recognize a Palestinian state as he demands Hamas recognize a Jewish state? If Jewish Home says that it is in favor of establishing a Palestinian state alongside a Jewish state, I will apologize and retract what I said,” added the Hatnua MK.