Prime Minister Netanyahu
Prime Minister NetanyahuChaim Goldberg/Flash90

Major General (Res.) Guy Tzur, former commander of the Israel Defense Forces' Ground Forces, called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "a traitor" during a recent demonstration at the PM's home in Caesarea.

"Netanyahu is a traitor, has become the enemy of the people, and must be deposed as soon as possible," Tzur shouted, and elaborated: "The way to do this is to talk to more and more communities who will go out to the streets and not return to their homes until the scoundrel is gone."

Emmanuel Shilo, editor of the newspaper B'Sheva, responded to Tzur's remarks. "The level of incitement against Netanyahu has reached an unprecedented madness. The things said about Netanyahu by keynote speakers, on stage, are much more serious than what was said at the time about Yitzhak Rabin at the demonstrations of the right against Oslo."

He explained that "When right-wing protesters called Rabin a 'traitor', the then-opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu declared from the podium: 'He is not a traitor, he is making a big mistake, and he must also step down, but he is not a traitor.' This did not prevent the left from subsequently accusing him of incitement and responsibility for the murder."

"If the opposition leaders - Gantz, Lapid, Sa'ar, Liberman, and Yair Golan - continue to remain silent in the face of this dangerous incitement, they will not be able to wash their hands of the blood when the verbal violence becomes, God forbid, physical violence," added Shilo. "President Herzog should also remember that his main role is to unite and prevent a rift in the nation. He cannot enjoy the privileges of his lofty office while he watches this dangerous incitement campaign in silence."

In response to disgust and massive criticism on Channel 14, Tzur retracted his use of the word "traitor."

"I meant he had betrayed the democratic values in the unity of Israeli society and the chance of the hostages to be saved, as well as betraying the values of Zionism. The use of the definition 'traitor' was less advisable as a general statement in this matter."