‘How Do You Sleep at Night?’ – Smotrich Booed Off Stage at Right-Wing Conference

Israeli Minister Bezalel Smotrich. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Smotrich was shouted down even before beginning his on-stage discussion at the conference.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich was forced to leave a conference in Ashkelon on Tuesday after being heckled by some of the attendees, the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom reported.

The event, titled ‘Tomorrow’s Conference’, was to focus on “challenges that emerged following the events of October 7th,” the paper said.

These were “challenges” such as “restoring a sense of security to residents of attacked communities, rehabilitating abandoned areas, strengthening the healthcare system, and providing solutions for children and youth left without organized educational frameworks.”

But Smotrich was shouted down even before beginning his on-stage discussion with one of the paper’s journalists.

‘You’re a Disgrace’

As the politician took the stage, shouts of “How do you sleep at night?” came from the attendees, the paper said.

One woman reportedly yelled: “Your economic plan isn’t even close to fixing what’s happening here. You’re a disgrace. Your son isn’t enlisted but mine is.”

“How can you sit here with a captives’ pin when you don’t see the reality we’re living in – not economically, not security-wise, and not regarding the captives?” she added.

The paper said that when Smotrich was asked about the captives’ situation, he said he decided on October 7, “never to return in any way to October 6.”

“It takes two to have a dispute. I will no longer be the other side – if there is some small, extremist minority trying to drag Israeli society into division, evil, and hatred. Israeli society doesn’t buy the hatred you’re selling here.”

Following these comments, the yelling from the audience continued “until the minister left the stage.”

Concern Over Captives

The paper further quoted Kibbutz Movement Secretary General Lior Simcha who said: “Our role is to see how we gather the communities, return home.”

Simcha stated: “Until October 7, the state forgot the importance of settlement – everything became economic. On October 7, the agreement was broken; in Nir Oz, no battle was fought – kibbutzim were destroyed. If we don’t know how to return the captives, we can’t talk about rehabilitation. The Tekuma plan is a good professional plan, but not a single home has been renovated in six months.”

‘We Demand Elections Now!’ – Israeli Street Protests Intensify

On X, Smotrich shared a post from one the paper’s journalists, Shirit Avitan Cohen, who said Israel Hayom had scheduled the conference “as a message of strengthening the city and the entire region after the October seven.”

She said various figures had been invited “to mark the vision for the future of Israeli society.”

“And once again a small and violent group has arisen that decides who to listen to and who to shut up,” she added.


In recent weeks, Israelis have increased pressure on the government through protests to negotiate an agreement with the Palestinian Resistance to release captives and reach a ceasefire deal.

Smotrich in January reportedly told the families of captives held in Gaza that he could not commit to bringing them all back alive.

‘Zionist Response’ to EU Declaration – Smotrich Calls for Expanding Illegal Settlements

Last month Smotrich slammed an agreement by the European Union to impose sanctions on settlers who attack Palestinians in the West Bank, saying the proper response is to expand settlement activity there.

“There is one holistic Zionist response to this (EU) declaration – strengthening and entrenching settlement in all parts of the Land of Israel,” he reportedly said in reference to Jewish settlements across the occupied West Bank.

Smotrich had announced in February plans to build 3,300 new units in illegal West Bank settlements.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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