Israeli lawmakers come under fire for making comments on West Bank settlers

On Thursday, an Israeli deputy minister came under fire for calling residents of illegal West Bank settlements “non-human.”

Tel Aviv, Israel-On Thursday, an Israeli deputy minister came under fire for calling residents of outposts in illegal West Bank settlements “non-human”.

“These are not people, these are demihumans. Despicable people and Jewish corruption. They must not get any support,” Golan told the Knesset Channel. “This radical nationalist rampage will bring disaster to us.”

Golan, who serves as the Deputy Minister of Economy, refers to settlers from an illegal outpost in the West Bank that was part of Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, but the settlers have rebuilt buildings many times. The settlers and their supporters also clashed with Palestinians in nearby villages. Golan said he was referring to settlers suspected of destroying a nearby Muslim cemetery, which he likened to a “holocaust.”

Tensions in the area around the outpost have been severe. Last month, a Palestinian gunman opened fire on a nearby car full of Jewish seminary students. The 25-year-old Yehuda Dimentman was killed near the Homesh outpost and two others were injured, which the Israeli government considered illegal.

In another interview with Israeli Army Radio late Thursday, Golan defended his words, but said that most West Bank settlers are law-abiding.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated that Golan’s remarks were “shocking, generalized, almost bloody slander”. The country’s foreign minister and defense minister also condemned these remarks.

The current opposition leader and former leader Benjamin Netanyahu said that Golan’s words were “taken directly from Nazi terminology against the Jewish people” and called on Bennett to fire him.

This storm highlights the very different ideologies that have combined under Bennett’s clumsy alliance, which aims to overthrow the former leader Benjamin Netanyahu and very few others. The coalition includes dovish parties that support the founding of a Palestinian state, as well as nationalist parties that oppose the idea, and even Islamic factions.

The two sides agreed not to resolve their differences, but their differences, especially over the 54-year Israeli occupation of the West Bank, broke out repeatedly.

The country’s public security minister from the Moderate Labor Party recently criticized settlers’ violent actions against Palestinians, which also caused an uproar.

In the 1967 Middle East War, Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and there are now approximately 700,000 settlers living there. The Palestinians hope that these territories will become part of the future independent state together with the Gaza Strip.

In a 2016 speech commemorating the country’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, Golan stated that the Holocaust, which killed 6 million Jews by the Nazis, should prompt Israelis to “think deeply” about their society.

“If there is anything that scares me when commemorating the Holocaust, it is the disgusting process that took place in Europe, especially in Germany at the time, 70, 80, and 90 years ago, and I saw evidence of them here. We are in 2016,” he said.

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