Smotrich: We will not be silenced

Transportation Minister responds to the uproar over his comments on a halakhic state.

Hezki Baruch,

Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel Smotrich
Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash 90

Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich responded on Tuesday evening to the uproar over comments he made a day earlier regarding a halakhic state.

"Over the last 24 hours, we again experienced unjust slander due to fear arising from ignorance," said Smotrich during a conference in Sderot.

"There are bad people on the sidelines who make political fortune from inciting and hating and demonizing anything that mentions God. I am not talking about them, I am talking about the absolute majority who are good Jews, who love Judaism, who love the Torah, who love tradition,” he continued.

Smotrich made it clear that he did not regret his remarks. "We will not be alarmed, nor confused, nor afraid. No one will shut our mouths and we will not be threatened.”

סמוטריץ': לא יסתמו לנו את הפה

The uproar began after Smotrich had said at a conference on Monday that "We all want the State of Israel to follow the law of the Torah, we just can't because there are people who think differently and we need to get along with them."

Yisrael Beytenu chairman MK Avigdor Liberman blasted the comments, saying, “"It is unbelievable how again without even blinking, we hear Minister Smotrich declare that if it was up to him and his friends, he and they would repeal the laws in the State of Israel and impose on us a state of law which operates only by way of Torah law."

"So we have news for you," he continued. "You won't have to get along with us because on September 18, a broad, liberal national government will be established here, without you and without anyone trying to force a halakhic state on us."

The United Right party backed Smotrich earlier on Tuesday.

"Minister Smotrich spoke last night at a conference about his faith, and in the same breath emphasized that he could not impose it on others, nor was he interested in doing so. Those who listened to him heard that the minister clearly said that we must live here together and take the general public into consideration, with respect and not coercion,” the party said.

"The media lynch being carried out now is the ugly silencing of the left, Liberman, and certain parts of the media motivated by hatred of Judaism and political interests. Freedom of speech does not belong to one side only,” the United Right added.