Ariel calls Duma arsonists 'anarchists'

Jewish Home minister responds to attack from Moshe Ya'alon: 'I don't think like' those who supported the Duma arson and murder.

Cynthia Blank,

Uri Ariel
Uri Ariel
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) responded to Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's attack on the Jewish Home party Sunday morning by insisting he gives no backing to those who support the murder of a Palestinian family in Duma. 

In an interview with Channel 2 on Saturday night, Ya'alon (Likud) criticized Jewish Home by linking statements some of its MKs had made with the July 31 arson attack in Duma.

Ya'alon also accused Jewish Home members of rushing to make false accusations against the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) with regards to the investigation into the arson.

"As I understand it, there is no one who thinks you can commit terror and murder people, no matter their identities or gender," Ariel responded in an interview with Razi Barkai on Army Radio. 

"I, as a minister, suffer criticism from those same anarchists, perhaps more than the others who receive criticism," he added. The suspects in the case allegedly adhere to a messianic ideology which rejects Zionism entirely - including the religious-Zionism of the Jewish Home party. Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett has been provided with additional security due to possible threats from far-right extremists.

"Their Torah is not our Torah," Ariel continued. "They do not have rabbis; don't think they have rabbis. They don't have someone they can 'put it on.' We think the reverse of them."

While Ariel admitted he had little doubt the arson had been perpetrated by Jews, he stressed there was still room to criticize the Shin Bet and called for their department on "Jewish terrorism" to be shut down.  

"[Their] interrogation methods and the complaints regarding the investigation should be examined by a ministerial committee," he urged.  

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) was also quick to respond to Ya'alon's verbal assault Saturday night, accusing him of trying to "make a political gain" of the situation.