Israel minister threatened by extremist Jewish settlers

Middle East Monitor  /  December 29, 2021

Israel’s Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev had been threatened by extremist Jewish settlers after telling US official that he was working to put an end to settler violence, Israeli media revealed on Tuesday.

As a result, he has been assigned round-the-clock security protection.

“From this morning, I am protected 24/7,” Bar Lev tweeted. “For the past six months, when I was asked why I did not have a bodyguard, I said I was not threatened.”

He added: “But due to my determination in my struggle against Arab crime families, I hoped I wouldn’t get to the point where they’d threaten me personally. But no, I am not threatened by Arab criminals: I am threatened by Jewish Israelis.”

During a meeting of the Labour Party, Bar Lev was asked why he did not have a bodyguard, and he said he was feeling safe.

Bar Lev blamed threats on Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana and Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel who criticized him for tweeting about his conversation regarding settler violence with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland.

“Those reactions from three ministers to my tweet made me the enemy of all the settlers and made me look like someone who doesn’t understand security,” The Jerusalem Post reported Bar Lev saying.

Labour leader Merav Michaeli said, according to The Jerusalem Post, the threats to her party colleague reflected an “erosion of democracy.”

It is worth noting that Bar Lev was asked to apologize for his remarks about the settlers’ violence, but he refused.