Activists Demand Rivlin Apologize
Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir and Lehava director Bentzi Gopshtain protested against President Reuven Rivlin on Friday morning, advancing towards his motorcade and shouting at him as he left the funeral of Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin in Jerusalem.
The two nationalist leaders demanded that Rivlin apologize for two months ago saying “my people chose the path of terror,” after the lethal arson in the town of Duma that left an Arab couple and their young child dead. Rivlin’s comments at Duma raised the ire of Adva Biton, whose daughter Adelle was murdered in a terror attack, and who noted neither Rivlin nor Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had similarly reacted to her loss.
“Go ask for forgiveness from the people of Israel for saying ‘my people chose terror,'” shouted Ben-Gvir at Rivlin while police held him back. “You still think your people chose terror?”
A large group of Yassam SWAT police distanced the two activists from Rivlin’s car and encircled the motorcade, as Ben-Gvir demanded that they stop pushing him back and allow him to voice his opinion against the president.
Rivlin was in his car at the time and chose not to respond to the statements of Gopshtain and Ben-Gvir.
“This is a democracy, we’re allowed to protest against him and you won’t silence us,” Ben-Gvir told the officers as they distanced him and Gopshtain from the car.
Ben-Gvir then said that Rivlin “needs to ask for forgiveness and be ashamed of his statements against the people of Israel. He can be the president of Ramallah, but we expect him to say sorry and request forgiveness.”
“From the moment he was chosen president he has tried to appease the Arabs, to appease the enemies, to appease all those who hate the people of Israel. I want him to talk about how in Ramallah they chose terror.”
The attorney’s comments bring to mind the statements of Gopshtain, who was arrested last November for an “illegal gathering” as he stood on the sidewalk in Jerusalem during a protest of the Har Nof synagogue massacre, in which four Jews were murdered – two of them reportedly beheaded – along with a police officer at the hands of two Jerusalem Arab terrorists.
“You’re allowed to die here quietly, you’re forbidden from protesting,” Gopshtain said as he was arrested. “I call to all of the people of Israel, go out to the streets, don’t be suckers. …We won’t continue dying quietly.”