The Likud and the Jewish Home engaged in a war of words on Saturday, which began when Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (Likud) criticized the Jewish Home by linking statements some of its MKs had made with the arson attack in Duma, and also accusing Jewish Home members of rushing to make false accusations against the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) with regards to the investigation into the arson.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) later responded by accusing Ya’alon of trying to make a political gain from the Duma affair.
"Unfortunately, the terrorists are Jews," Yaalon told Channel 2’s “Meet the Press” program in reference to the culprits behind the Duma arson. He urged Israelis not to stain all the Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria nor the entire religious Zionist movement, but said that "certainly someone needs to do some soul-searching."
"When you blink on the question of the rule of law, through illegal construction, through attacks on me, for example, including by ministers and Knesset members, and when you raise your voice or hand on the Supreme Court - then young teenagers who see things as black and white realize that maybe it's okay to throw stones and bags of urine on police officers and soldiers, and puncture tires of police vehicles," continued Ya’alon.
"We heard some cabinet ministers, and also people on the outside who were skeptical about the Duma story," he said. "They created a campaign against the ISA. But the ISA is supervised by the Attorney General, as well as by an internal legal counsel, and even by us - so the ISA can do whatever it wants? The investigations are monitored. They created a campaign [against the ISA], and I'm sure some of the participants in that campaign now regret it."
It was important to broadcast the video released this week in which extremist youths are shown celebrating the Duma murder, Ya’alon said, because it convinced many of those who doubted that the arson was an act of Jewish terror.
"When the Prime Minister brought this video to the cabinet a week ago, we saw the shock in the eyes of those who had doubts about whether the ISA tortures suspects or not. A law is a law, with no ifs or buts,” he said.
"I see a direct link between non-compliance with the rule of law and the fact that, ultimately, irresponsible young people take the law into their own hands, burn a family intentionally, and later celebrate in this disgraceful manner," Ya’alon added. "We have Jewish terrorism here, I call it terrorism from the start. Terror is terror is terror, whether it is carried out by Arabs or Jews. We must take measures against this.”
Shaked later responded and strongly rejected Ya’alon’s criticism of her party.
"I regret the fact that there are some trying to make a political gain in this situation," Shaked told Channel 2. "[Jewish Home chairman Naftali] Bennett was the first leader from the right who stood up [against Jewish terrorism] in the most decisive manner. I have a post from July 2013 in which Bennett wrote that ‘price tag is immoral and not Jewish’.
"Do not try to stain the religious Zionist movement, an entire community that serves and contributes to society, because of a group of terrorist anarchists who Bogie knows are outlaws who do not listen to rabbinical and educational authority," added the Minister of Justice.
Shaked rejected the criticism that was leveled against her when she met with relatives of the Duma detainees following reports that the detainees were severely abused, before she concluded that the investigations were conducted in compliance with the law.
"As Justice Minister, if someone comes to me with complaints about rights being violated during an interrogation, it is my duty to look into it. I checked with the Attorney General and the head of the Shin Bet and saw that everything was done according to law,” she said.
“If Palestinians were to come to me and ask me, I would certainly also investigate. I spoke with the Attorney General and I saw that everything was done according to the law and was supervised by the legal system,” added Shaked.