Netanyahu: Shame that Rabin memorial became a political rally

Netanyahu criticizes leftist activists who heckled and booed Minister Tzachi Hanegbi at Rabin memorial.

Elad Benari,

Netanyahu
Netanyahu
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Saturday night criticized the leftist activists who heckled and booed Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi at the memorial ceremony for assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in Tel Aviv.

“It is regrettable that the memorial ceremony for the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin became a political conference. Those who champion freedom of expression try to silence anyone who disagrees with them,” tweeted Rabin.

Hanegbi, a long time Likud lawmaker, was loudly booed during his speech. Many of the rallygoers were also shown making obscene gestures at the veteran legislator.

Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett earlier on Saturday night blasted the memorial rally as a "shameful leftist demonstration".

"The right did not murder Rabin but Yigal Amir," said Bennett. "As a right-wing leader who opposes a Palestinian state, I am tired of the annual false accusations of the left."

"Rightists do not need to come to a demonstration whose goal is to denounce the right. The lesson of the extreme left: The right is to blame. My lesson: neither violence nor civil war. Choose," continued Bennett.

Minister Gila Gamliel (Likud) also denounced the "shameful scenes tonight in Rabin Square. A bunch of anti-democratic shouts who do not respect a minister elected in the government, and then they preach to us about division and tolerance."

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely also criticized the conduct of the leftist protesters.

"After the rally tonight, the left should stop lecturing us about freedom of expression and democracy. The incitement toward the majority of the Israeli public on the right and the center will leave the left in the opposition for many years to come," she said.

The Meretz party initially expressed outrage after it was announced that Hanegbi would speak at the Rabin memorial.

"Memory is not bought with money, and neither is peace. Those who sang the song of peace next to Yitzhak Rabin were removed from the memorial, while those who stood on the veranda and incited will be there,” the party said.

“Since the name of the host has not been made public, we hope it will not be Itamar Ben Gvir. He already has the ornament," added Meretz, referring to the rightist lawyer who famously tore off the hood ornament of Rabin's limousine shortly before his murder.

Later, however, Meretz chairwoman MK Tamar Zandberg agreed to speak at the memorial ceremony.


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