Joining Internal Security Minister Aharonovitch and Knesset Speaker Rivlin, Yesh Atid Chairman Lapid also slammed the members of Knesset who participated in an anti-migrant protest in south Tel Aviv on Wednesday, saying that they do not understand the meaning of "Jewish morality."
Lapid posted a status on Facebook, saying "I support the arrest and deportation of infiltrators, the completion of the fence and preventing their entry into Israel, and I think that human rights organizations should think about the rights of the neighborhood residents first, because charity begins at home.
"However," Lapid continued, "When I see a pogrom led by inciters like MKs (Danny) Danon, (Miri) Regev and (Michael) Ben Ari, I wonder how they have the nerve to call themselves 'Jews.' They don't understand the meaning of 'Jewish morals' or collective Jewish memory, nor do they understand the meaning of Jewish existence," he wrote.
The three right wing MKs attended a rally in Tel Aviv's Hatikva neighborhood Wednesday evening to protest against the government's handling of the flow of African migrants into Israel.
During the event, MK Regev (Likud) said: "The infiltrators are a cancer in our body and we will do everything in our power to return them back to their country of origin."
Regev also slammed "all the leftists who filed High Court appeals (against the deportation of African migrants)," saying they "should be ashamed of themselves."
MK Danny Danon (Likud), who chairs the Knesset lobby dealing with the problem of infiltrators, called on the government to deport the foreign migrants. "We should not be ashamed of the word 'expulsion'. We can send them back (to their home countries)," he said.
"I spoke with the president of Sudan, and he said to me 'no problem, send them back to us.'"
During the protest, a number of demonstrators shattered the windshield of a vehicle in which three African migrants were riding. The migrants were not injured.
The demonstrators also threw two firecrackers at police forces. Twelve protesters were arrested and 11 were later released to house arrest under limiting conditions.
Responding to the MKs' comments, Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said Thursday that he urges public officials "to show responsibility and not incite, because ultimately we are inciting an entire sector against another sector.
"The Sudanese and Eritreans must be sent back in an orderly fashion because most of them are infiltrators and not refugees," he added.
"It's OK to protest and demand a solution from the government but once cannot be dragged into incitement and use words the anti-Semites use against us," he said.
Thursday evening saw hundreds of people gather across from the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem in protest of what they called "racism in the Knesset."
Protesters were waving signs reading "The Knesset is racist, Israel is falling apart" and "Stop racism."
Meanwhile, some 200 people gathered in Tel Aviv Thursday evening to protest against the events of the previous day.
"I cam here because what is happening is pure incitement to violence. People are being fed false information about the refugees, who are lovely people," said Yael Weisbach, an activist with the Marak Levinsky ("Levinsky Soup"), a project that distributes hot meals to refugees.
"I never encountered an act of violence or sexual innuendoes on their part. The violent protest on Wednesday was like a scene out of a Holocaust movie, no less. Hating the other because of the color of their skin is simply a blood libel; we are losing our values," she said.
One of the protest organizers told Ynet that while a solution must be found to the problem of immigration and refugees, "It cannot be in the form of incitement and violence toward citizens, refugees and innocent migrant.
"This summer we had a social protest movement – no protest movement can ignore the racism and oppression inside the state of Israel. Battling racism is an integral part of the road to change," the organizer said.
President Shimon Peres also condemned Wednesday's events. In a special statement, Peres urged against expressions of racism and incitement"
"Xenophobia goes against the very foundations of Judaism. I'm well aware of the difficulties encountered by the residents of south Tel Aviv and the harsh realities they must face – but violence is never the answer."
Peres added that the State must find a way to deal with illegal migrant "while maintaining their dignity and human rights."
Netanyahu: Violence has no place among us - Netanyahu also addressed the controversial comments made by three Knesset members who attended the protest, and the acts of violence perpetrated by some of the protesters, saying that "there is no room for the type of statements and acts we witnessed yesterday.
"I say this to public officials as well as the residents of south Tel Aviv, whose pain I understand; we will solve the problem, and we will do so in a responsible manner."
Photos: Riots yesterday in South Tel Aviv (1), Protesting against violence twords Africans migrants (2), Arresting violent protesters yesterday (3), Africans in South Tel Aviv (4)
Click to view image: '0e3c114237aa-3349930217.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|