Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin participated, Sunday afternoon, in a memorial service for people who were killed in June 1948, when government forces fired at the Irgun militia ship Altalena, which was bringing weapons from France. Referring to contemporary issues, Rivlin said, "There are some who downplay the danger of civil war, the intensity of internal rift, but we who know the lessons of the Altalena, they should not be underestimated."
Rivlin said, "Stronger nations than us fell to the disaster of internal war. And we too, in our history, were conquered in the temptation of ideological fanaticism, which destroyed our house. Neighboring countries have experienced and still experience the lack of far-seeing leadership, the takeover of terror, fear, the ethnic clashes and civil wars. Their fate and the fate of the Altalena must serve as a warning: We are not immune. I believe we can meet the challenges the future holds for us only if we go back and repeat the remarks of our teacher, Menachem Begin "A civil war? Never again!"