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Israeli Finance Minister Smotrich receives threatening letter in English

The missive, which contains Nazi symbols, accuses the Religious Zionism Party leader of “intending to destroy Israel.”

A threatening letter, written in English, was sent to Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, April 2023. Source: Twitter.
A threatening letter, written in English, was sent to Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, April 2023. Source: Twitter.

Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich received a threatening letter with Nazi symbols on Tuesday, his office said.

The English-language letter accuses the Religious Zionism Party leader of “intending to destroy Israel.” Pictures taken of the letter by Smotrich’s office show a swastika along with the brief text.

It was received on the day that the country is observing Holocaust Remembrance Day, with somber events honoring the 6 million Jews murdered by the Germans and their collaborators during World War II.

An investigation into the incident was opened by the Magen Unit, which is entrusted with the security of ministers and deputy ministers. A police report is expected to be filed soon.

The letter comes a day after member of Knesset Boaz Bismuth from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party was heckled loudly while he was attempting to speak during an event at a Tel Aviv synagogue marking Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“I will not treat those who came here against me as enemies. We are brothers. We may not agree but we will not do to each other what has been done to us for many generations. It is legitimate that everyone has a different aspiration for Israel—but our fate is the same, certainly on an evening like this,” said Bismuth before having to cut his speech short for fear of violence.

Opponents of Netanyahu and his coalition’s judicial reform initiative have taken to the streets on a weekly basis since the proposed legislation was introduced at the beginning of the year. More recently, protests in support of the legal overhaul have taken place.

President Isaac Herzog has in his largely ceremonial role attempted to cool down the rhetoric around judicial reforms and has been hosting Knesset factions at his Jerusalem residence in the past weeks in an attempt to forge a compromise.

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