Likud minister: Picture of Rivlin is despicable, but not a crime

Public Security Minister Erdan says picture of President Rivlin in kaffiyeh is 'despicable,' but no reason for police to open investigation.

Shlomo Pyutrikovsky,

Gilad Erdan
Gilad Erdan
Flash 90

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) on Monday slammed those who criticized President Reuven Rivlin for deciding on Sunday not to pardon Elor Azariya.

Azariya was convicted of manslaughter in January, after he shot in March 2016 an Arab terrorist suspected of having an explosive vest.

"There is no room for criticizing and attacking our President," Erdan tweeted. "This issue is within his authority and it is his responsibility. We can disagree with him, but we cannot slander or lash out at him."

However, Erdan also questioned the police decision to investigate those who disseminated a photo of Rivlin wearing a kaffiyeh.

"You have to wonder at the reason why Israel Police are investigating the despicable pictures being spread on social media," he wrote. "I have no doubt that the State Prosecutor's Office will decide this is not a criminal activity. It's despicable, but it's not criminal."

Erdan's standpoint is diametrically opposed to that of Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud).

In an interview, Erdan said, "Kaffiyehs? What have we come to? Going one centimeter off the road is treason? Where are we headed to?"

He then called on the police to bring the perpetrators to justice.

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