By Matti Bernhardt
The Knesset has placed a security detail for the incoming Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, after recent incitement against her in the social media, including a Facebook post depicting her in Nazi SS uniform.
The decision was made by Knesset Chairman Yuli Edelstein, in conjunction with the parliamentary body’s security officials.
“We were shocked to see specific threats to Shaked’s life,” Edelstein told Israeli army radio on Monday.
“A picture of her in SS uniform was published. The Knesset officer decided to put a security detail on her. We will not allow threats on MK’s, no matter their political view,” Edelstein vowed.
Many posted comments about Shaked’s somewhat surprising and controversial appointment in social media. Some of the comments have been extremist in nature and have led some to believe that further incitement may ensue.
A pro-Palestinian Facebook page named Toto Che Handala posted the picture on Shaked’s wall on Monday, depicting her in an SS uniform, claiming she opposes any peace agreement with the Palestinians and supports their “genocide.” The original Facebook page who posted the picture has since been shut down.
The images of Israeli politicians photo-shopped into SS garb hold particularly disturbing connotations in Israeli political history. Before Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in 1995, posters of him in SS uniform were circulated at some anti-government demonstrations, distributed, in part, by Shin Bet agent provocateur Avishai Raviv. Some view the phenomena as part of the atmosphere of incitement that eventually led to his assassination by Yigal Amir.
Several other Israeli politicians from both the right and the left have been portrayed in such a manner, including the Zionist Camp’s Tzipi Livni and Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid last November in a Facebook post criticizing their political views.
This is not the first time where an Israeli politician has been depicted in Nazi uniform by a pro-Palestinian group this year. In January 2015, Fatah published a photo of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wearing an SS uniform on its Facebook page.
Tazpit News Agency