PM Netanyahu visits those injured in Meron disaster in Rambam Medical Center

"One of the parents told me something that sums all this up: The Jewish People has one collective heart."

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

PM Netanyahu in Rambam Medical Center
PM Netanyahu in Rambam Medical Center
Haim Tzach, spokesperson

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid a visit to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, where several of those injured in the Meron disaster last Friday are being treated for their wounds.

Following the visit, Netanyahu spoke with reporters, telling them that he had spoken with several of those injured, and that a parent of an injured child had told him “something that sums this all up – that the Jewish People has one collective heart. Our hearts all go out to those who were injured, and our prayers are for their recovery.”

Netanyahu added that he was “impressed by the wonderful treatment provided by the hospital staff, and also by the rescue organizations, whose members undoubtedly saved many lives.”

On Friday, as the extent of the tragedy emerged, the Prime Minister announced that Sunday would be a national day of mourning, with cultural and sports events cancelled, political debates and negotiations suspended, and events held in memory of those who lost their lives. Later that day, Netanyahu was interviewed at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, where he had gone to donate blood for the benefit of those injured in the disaster.

“I will do everything – the Israeli government will do everything – to help the families of those who perished,” he said. “We understand your deep sorrow.”

When Netanyahu visited Meron on that Friday, however, calls of “Murderer!” followed his entourage.

A week prior to Lag b’Omer, Netanyahu met with senior haredi politicians to discuss the issue of free access to the small town of Meron where Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai is buried, on the day of his yahrtzeit. MKs Meir Porush and Yisrael Eichler (UTJ) both stressed the perception on the haredi “street” that government and security officials lacked sensitivity to the haredi public and its specific needs. The meeting concluded with a commitment to block proposed restrictions to the Meron site on Lag b’Omer.

For their part, the haredi political parties committed to support Netanyahu in his bid to hold onto the premiership, even as the deadline for his mandate to form a coalition looms with no solution in sight. With journalists and politicians calling for an independent commission of inquiry into the Meron tragedy and accusations that Meron was a tragedy waiting to happen due to corrupt decision-making at the highest levels, the political chessboard may yet see some key pieces making unexpected moves in the next few days.