National Unity party chairman MK Benny Gantz today (Wednesday) paid a condolence visit to the family of Abed Rahman Kashua, the director-general of the Israeli Arab municipality of Tira who was murdered earlier this week.
Gantz, who visited the city alongside Ra'am chairman MK Mansour Abbas, addressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and called on him to fire National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir. "The responsibility is on you, no political price is equal to the blood price we pay as a society. You must fire him and appoint a minister to handle the crisis. Every minute that passes is a ticking bomb."
Gantz attacked Ben-Gvir: "The minister who is supposed to take care of citizens' personal security lacks the ability to manage and has no desire to help Arab society. He wants to establish a private militia, instead of making sure there are policemen. He wants 'his own people', instead of investigators who will lay their hands on the murderers. Instead of bringing in the existing Border Police and security forces that would help restore the feeling of security - he sows chaos."\
In addition, he said, "The voices I heard here from the family of Abed Rahman Kashua are painful and hurt my soul. It is impossible to remain indifferent first of all to the personal tragedy, but also to the national crisis in front of us. The State of Israel is going through difficult days."
He claimed that "in order to defeat terrorism, you have to support those who need to defeat terrorism - but the current government puts the backs of the commanders of the IDF and the heads of the security forces against the wall. When cabinet ministers turn the discussions into a press conference, and the coalition members attack the army commanders, we transmit weakness instead of resilience and strength. We motivate our enemies and undermine deterrence. The current government is the most ineffective government in the war on terror."
Gantz said that "there is a connecting thread between terrorism and the epidemic of violence and lack of governance - serious damage is done to the resilience of Israeli society and damage to the security and enforcement agencies that are supposed to deal with these challenges. Just yesterday - four people were brutally shot to death in Abu Snan, and another was murdered in a stabbing in Laqiya. A reality of threats to elected officials, public servants, journalists, and business owners - both Jews and Arabs - they are all targeted. Israeli citizens, including public servants and elected officials, do not know if they will will be alive tomorrow morning. They are afraid to send their children to school."
He criticized the government's conduct: "The Israeli government is engaged in a coup d'état that dismantles democracy, and in the meantime, democracy is crumbling. The most basic value, the right to elect and be elected - is under threat. Without guaranteeing a life in security, without guaranteeing the basic right to elect and be elected, democracy cannot exist. It's a fight for life, and a fight to be a state of law - or to end."
"If no action is taken, the criminals and murderers will take over the power centers of public action, and our tax dollars will support more murders, more thefts, more agricultural crime. The State of Israel is under attack. This government is leaving the professional ranks abandoned and without the means to act. Instead of making a revolution In Arab society - they are dealing with a regime revolution. Instead of strengthening the police - they are disbanding the army," he said.
"There are solutions, the plans exist, we presented some of them in the Eisenkot program, and I discussed them with senior officials in Arab society and in the various systems. The most important thing is to give hope to young people. When we replace this government, we will establish a government that is fair to all parts of Israeli society. I promise that we will do everything to fight criminals, but no less importantly - to make Arab society an equal partner in the State of Israel. A partner in rights, and also a partner in the duties and service of the entire Israeli society."