'Israel has Lost the Media to the World'

Deputy Minister admits Israel losing the media war, but insists: 'it is our duty to build, just like in Washington, Paris, London.'

Tova Dvorin, Ornit Atzar ,

Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis
Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis
Flash 90

Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) and MK Meir Sheetrit (HaTnua) met in the Knesset Monday, with MPs from Chile and the Chilean Friends of Israel organization.

During the meeting, Akunis lashed out at criticism over the decision to build Jewish homes in Jerusalem.

"Criticism of the construction in Jerusalem, which is the capital of Israel, is nothing but hypocrisy," Akunis stated. "This is not only our right, it is our duty to build in Jerusalem, just like building in Washington, Paris or London." 

Akonis also noted that "99 percent of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria are not living 'under occupation,' nor have they encountered IDF soldiers; they are the subjects of the Palestinian Authority." 

Chilean MP Marco Nunez asked why, then, such perceptions are so pervasive in mainstream media.

"Israel has lost the media to the world," Akunis admitted. "It is very easy for the Palestinians to lie in the international arena." 

More locally, Akunis warned the Chilean leaders that the Palestinian community there - 300,000 strong - has a high potential for recruitment by jihadists. 

"Israel's friends are faced with a serious internal war," he said. "Today everyone understands that Palestinian communities around the world share a common interest with ISIS, which cuts off the heads of everyone who disagrees with it." 

On the diplomatic front, MK Meir Sheetrit expressed his regrets at the conduct of the Chilean Ambassador, Jorge Montero, who was recalled to Chile in political protest during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

"The return of the Ambassador ceased the mutual dialogue between countries, and it's a shame," Sheetrit stated. 

"Israel has the ability to destroy Gaza," he added. "If we had wanted to do so during 'Protective Edge,' it would have happened."

"We have nothing against the Palestinian population, only against Hamas," he continued. "I do not know of a country, other than Israel, which provides food, electricity, water and medical care to the same side it's fighting against."