PM Netanyahu
PM NetanyahuAmos Ben Gershom/GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the statements by MK Tzvika Fogel (Otzma Yehudit) calling for the arrest of the leaders of the opposition parties for the second time Wednesday evening.

"This is an unfortunate statement, I completely deny it," Netanyahu said at a press conference with Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

He noted, however, that he would have expected the leaders of the opposition to behave in a similar manner. "I call on the leaders of the opposition to condemn the calls against Yariv Levin."

Netanyahu called on both sides to act to lower the height of the political flames. "I would like to calm the public discourse. The state will not be destroyed, democracy will not be destroyed, the essence of democracy is more than the balance between the three branches of government and, of course, majority rule is the respect of individual rights. The essence of democracy is that debates, including the one we are having today, are not held with bullets, they are actually decided at the polling stations and decided by votes in the Knesset or the Parliament."

"We can disagree. In a democracy we disagree, in a democracy we reach a decision in the end if there is no agreement, but we must also delineate the limits of the discourse," he added.

"So I want to say what I said yesterday and I repeat it: in a democracy the leaders of the opposition are not arrested, and in a democracy the opposition does not call the ministers of the government Nazis and the government that was now elected by the majority of the voters the Third Reich. We need to relax, and above all, just an addition - there is no violence either. There is no violence. There is no permit for violence, there is no permit for blocking roads and there are no other things that invasively violate the rights of each and every citizen. We will discuss seriously, we will certainly also argue pointedly, we will eventually decide and in the end we will also succeed," Netanyahu said.

Yesterday, MK Tzvika Fogel called for Opposition MKs Yair Lapid, Benny Gantz, Yair Golan, and Moshe Ya'alon to be arrested for "treason."

"These four need to be arrested. They are the most dangerous people out there right now," Fogel told Kan News on Tuesday evening.

When asked what the grounds for the arrest would be, he replied that, "They are not talking about a demonstration, not about flags or anything else. They are now talking about civil war and calling for war. If they were calling for a demonstration, I would grant them the right to demonstrate. But they treat me as an enemy. This is treason against the state and this is grounds for arrest."