The president warned Saturday that the flames of hatred, violence and “false, distorted and twisted beliefs are spreading through the land,” and that Israel could no longer afford to continue dismissing these attacks.
“These flames, which are consuming all of us, cannot be extinguished with weak condemnations [by politicians]. These flames cannot be extinguished with solidarity rallies. Not even with this rally. These flames cannot be extinguished with posts on Facebook and statements in the media. These flames cannot be extinguished with repression, denial and disregard. Incitement, ridicule, frivolity, laxity and arrogance of the heart cannot extinguish the fire, but only allow it to burn stronger, with fervor, to spread in all directions, and permeate all walks of life,” Rivlin said.
“We must be thorough and clear; from the educational system, to those who enforce the law, through to the leadership of the people and the country. We must put out the flames, the incitement, before they destroy us all,” he warned.
“We will not be zealots. We will not be bullies. We will not become an anarchy,” he went on.
The president described his emotions during his visit Friday to the hospital beds of the seriously burned remaining members of the Dawabsha family, saying he was “ashamed [and] ridden with dread for the power of hatred.”
“[I was] ashamed that a country which has known the murder of Shalhevet Pass [killed in 2001 in Hebron by a Palestinian sniper], of the Fogel family [killed in their home in Itamar by two Palestinian attackers in March 2011], of Adele Biton [the toddler who died this year after suffering severe injuries sustained in a Palestinian firebomb attack in 2013], of Eyal, Gil-ad, Naftali [the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped and murdered last summer] and Muhammad Abu Khdeir [the Palestinian teenager kidnapped and burned alive by Jewish extremists in a reprisal attack for the three Israeli teens], there are still those who do not hesitate to ignite the flames, to burn the flesh of a baby, to increase the hatred and terror,” Rivlin said.