Bennett criticised, heckled while visiting family of fallen Special Forces operator

May 19, 2022 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett faced harsh criticism and heckling on his visit to the family of Special Forces operator Noam Raz at the community of Kida in Benyamin on Wednesday.

Noam Raz Photo: Courtesy

Raz, a veteran operator in the police’s elite Yamam counterterrorism unit, was killed on Friday in an operation to arrest a terror suspect in Jenin in Samaria.

Bennett came to Kida to pay his respects to Raz’s wife Efrat and his six children.

Reports say that he arrived in Kida an hour ahead of the scheduled time to avoid protests. He left by helicopter, and some reports say he did so as to avoid protestors along the road on his way back. While entering the house and leaving it, he was heckled by protestors who called on him to leave immediately.

While meeting Raz’s family, Bennett was forced to endure scathing criticism from the family.

According to reports, Raz’s son told Bennett: “I do not know how you look [at yourself] in the mirror. I blame you the way I blame the terrorist [who killed his father]. You ruined your opportunity. We want to see someone we believe in. You do not deserve to be in the house my father lived in. I hope you are listening and not just nodding.”

The widow Efrat said that “the Arabs are raising their heads, they allow themselves.” Bennett tried to respond and said that “we are working, the security forces…,” but was cut off by Efrat who said “leave the security forces alone, they do their thing and acted before you too. What are you doing?”

Efrat further told Bennett: “your intention is desirable but your actions are not desirable. Remember who you are. What do you. Why you do.”

Eitam, Noam’s son, accused him of being “merely a man of words. Zero deeds. You and the government are destroying everything the fighters on the ground are doing. It’s a disgrace.”

Another son said: “Don’t promise us anything, based on past experience it won’t happen anyway. Start acting.”

Noam’s sister lamented that “we lack Jewish pride on a daily basis. I can’t wave a flag of independence. I’m afraid to drive [on the roads] and come back but I’m doing it! There is no Jewish pride here. Once upon a time, the prime minister was proud. sad. But I do not feel it towards you.”

“You still have time to change. Every day you are in this chair you can change. When you are not faithful to the essence for which you are chosen you will not be here,” Efrat said.

This was Bennett’s first condolence visit to a bereaved family, after multiple terror attacks and 19 victims in the past several weeks.

Bennett stated in response to the severe incidents that the Raz family is “a pioneering family living a life of devotion and Zionism in Kida.”

“They lost Noam, who was a rare figure with humility and courage. I came to be with them. It is the full right of the family members of the hero of Israel to voice to me anything that is on their heart, and my role is to hear and listen.”

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived later in the day in Kida to visit the Raz family and was warmly welcomed by the residents.

Noam’s son told him: “Come back already. And make sure there are no more murdered.”

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