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Israeli economy minister attacked at Tel Aviv peace conference: report

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett says he was attacked by an attendee at the Haaretz peace conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

Mr. Bennett, leader of the right-wing political party The Jewish Home, had to stop several times during his speech as members of the audience heckled him as a "murderer" and "fascist," The Jerusalem Post reported.

"There are people here who agreed to speak to Arafat, but they won't listen to Bennett," Haaretz publisher Amos Shocken said, taking the stage in an attempt to quiet the crowd, The Post said.

Dozens of people ran toward Mr. Bennett as he left the stage, and one person made it past his bodyguards and punched him in the back.

Mr. Bennett whirled around and shouted, "Who hit me?" His bodyguards whisked him from the room, The Jerusalem Post reported.

"I represent a stance shared by millions of people and no one will silence me," Mr. Bennett told the newspaper.

The Jewish Home spokesman said party members are shocked and distressed by the attack on Mr. Bennett.

"Cries of 'murderer' from the crowd and censorship that turned into physical violence and unforgivable in Israeli politics," the spokesman said. "We expect those on right and left who care about freedom of expression to come out against this act. We will never be silent and never stop saying our stance, whatever it may be."

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