After previously comparing the Jewish Home party with the Hamas terrorist group, MK Amram Mitzna (Hatnua) said on Thursday night that his comments had been manipulated.
“To all those who are manipulating the things I said, I say that they are crossing the boundaries of truth and fairness. Why? Because I did not at all compare the Jewish Home to Hamas in the sense of a terrorist organization, and I said so explicitly,” Mitzna wrote on Facebook.
“But would anyone argue that Hamas does not recognize Israel and isn't ready to accept a two-state solution? We should assume no one does. Therefore, if the Jewish Home recognizes the two-state solution and the right of the Palestinians to a state - I'll take my words back,” he stated.
Speaking to Kol Yisrael radio in an interview earlier Thursday, Mitzna said, “If you take Hamas and you take away the matter of the terror, 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?”
The comments caused outrage among members of the coalition, and even Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu slammed Mitzna for them.
“Political debate must remain within the realms of honesty and fairness,” Netanyahu said. “Mitzna's comments crossed red lines in both those realms."
MK Shuli Muallem-Refaeli (Jewish Home) strongly criticized Mitzna and said he is a “disgrace” to his military ranks. Mitzna is a former general in the IDF.
“One time we had a Prime Minister who told a soldier to catch whoever threw rocks at Jews and break his arms and legs. Today we have sitting in the Knesset an MK who compares a legitimate political party to a terrorist organization that kidnaps innocent children. A disgrace,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Jewish Home’s secular division condemned Mitzna and said that in was, in fact, Mitzna himself who behaves like a member of Hamas.
"This is serious incitement and cheap demagoguery. Mitzna is a member of a faction that voted in favor of releasing terrorists and supports the transfer of funds to murderous enemies sitting in Israeli prisons. Therefore it seems that it is him who is more like Hamas in his ways and in his outlook. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”