Merav Michaeli
Merav MichaeliKnesset Channel

Labor party chairwoman MK Merav Michaeli claimed that recent cases of alleged right-wing violence in Hebron are connected to the murder of Yuri Volkov by a motorcyclist in Holon last week.

"A straight line connects the violence against Arabs and against human rights activists in Hebron - and the violence that Israeli citizens suffer in the streets," Michaeli said at the weekly Labor party faction meeting Monday.

"When the country is taken over, and is in the hands of extremists who all say "we're the bosses here" and "we can do anything we want", when Arabs, leftists, human rights activists are labeled as the enemy, when anything justifies brandishing a gun - it means that anyone who is not like us, anyone who is not "us" can be beaten, can be hit.

This week, this violence was directed against a human rights activist in Hebron. Last week, it was by settlers against a soldier who had come to protect them. Each time, a different victim. It can get you on a tram, when you cross the road, or drive a bus," Michaeli said.

She blamed the leaders of the Otzma Yehudit and Religious Zionism parties for the violence.

"This is what happens when the incoming government is made up of Ben-Gvir, Smotrich, and even more so, with an agreement with Avi Maoz, with the Noam party. A party that is entirely based on hatred and exclusion, hatred of gays and lesbians, hatred of Arabs, exclusion of women. And that's even before we even get into the difficult questions about the sexual harassment stories surrounding its spiritual leader.

"For years these parties, these people, these bad apples were out of bounds. Even within right-wing circles they were outside the camp. Now, these hateful and exclusionary parties are welcomed with a warm embrace by Benjamin Netanyahu, because everything is kosher in his attempt to escape from the trial.

"This is how extremist elements take control of the country. Bad apples. Extremists who endanger the security of the country.

"To stop this downward spiral we must articulate a different horizon and vision. A political vision. A civil vision. A liberal vision. Because without a liberal vision anyone who is not straight or Jewish according to the halacha of certain rabbis will be persecuted. Because without a civil vision there will be no equality of rights for women, for Arab citizens, for immigrants according to the Law of Return. Because without a political vision, we will continue to raise generations that employ and experience violence at checkpoints.

"And the key words are tolerance, acceptance of the other, and peace. Everything that Netanyahu and the extremists who have gathered around him are unable to understand. This is also the reason they will fail - because you cannot win with hatred and extremism.

And at the heart of this violence is the violence against women. To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, we in the Labor faction are hosting three families affected by this terrible violence. The family of the late Yafit Purian, mother of four who were in the house when their father murdered Yafit, set fire to the apartment and tried to commit suicide. The family of Noa, who at the age of 13 was raped by two young men who also filmed the dreadful event and spread it on the Internet. The family is currently opposing with a plea bargain that would go easy on the rapists.

The less equality there is, the more violence there is. Faced with a government that promotes hatred and violence, we will continue to promote a different perspective. A vision of life with genuine security - without violence. A political vision. A civil vision A liberal vision. A vision of equality and peace," the Labor party chairwoman concluded.