Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin (Likud) was booed and heckled Thursday as he addressed Haaretz's Peace Conference and attacked the Left's policies.
"The path followed by the Left, the international community and the UN Secretary General has failed," he stated. "The entire concept is wrong at its base. You have strengthened the extremists and pushed peace farther away."
"A nation cannot be an occupier on its own land," he insisted. "You can twist history and reinvent it, but you cannot erase the simple fact that the Land of Israel is the land of the Nation of Israel."
"The concept needs to be changed from the foundation," Levin argued. "The road to peace does not pass from the inside outward, but from the outside inward. If the international community had invested in creating connections and bridges between Israel and the Gulf states and north Africa, if all those efforts of the peace industry, those decades, had been invested in creating this bridge and base, today we would have been in a different place."
The hecklers called Levin "Goebbels," among other things.
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett was physically attacked at Haaretz's Peace Conference in July of 2014. When he walked up on the stage, boos and catcalls of “fascist” and “murderer” were heard from the audience. Additionally, cries of "Mohammed Abu Khder's blood is on your hands" were heard, a reference to the 16-year-old Arab youth found murdered a few days earlier.
Bennett's speech was cut off several times. “This is the last place in which I thought you would try to stifle free speech,” Bennett replied to his attackers. Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken got on the stage and said "there are people here who thought that we need to speak with (former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser) Arafat. It can't be that they won't let Bennett be heard."
At the end of the speech, as Bennett got down off the stage, a group of roughly 20 to 30 youths tried to physically attack him. One of them succeeded in reaching him and punching him in the back.
Bennett no sooner spun around and said "who hit me?" than he was whisked away from the scene by security.