Rabin Memorial:
Rabin's grandson blasts Netanyahu, lauds new government

Jonathan Benartzi, grandson of Yitzhak Rabin, excoriates Netanyahu and expresses relief at formation of new government.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

יצחק רבין
יצחק רבין
צילום: פלאש 90

Israel commemorated the assassination of then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin Monday, with a state ceremony marking 26th anniversary of Rabin’s murder.

During the ceremony, Rabin’s grandson, Jonathan Benartzi, excoriated Opposition Leader and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while expressing satisfaction with the formation of a new government – the first to be formed without Netanyahu at the helm since Ehud Olmert formed a Kadima-led government in 2006.

“The last few years have been especially difficult,” said Benartzi, without mentioning Netanyahu by name. “The hatred once again filled the streets. The division which tore Israeli society apart along sectorial lines on the eve of the assassination raised its ugly head again and again threatened to divide the country.”

“Everywhere, violence broke out, along with incitement against any citizens who dared to think differently. The headlines of November 1995 [on the eve of the assassination] returned in all of our nightmares, as if this could happen all over again. The divisions, the style, the language being even worse than it was back then – but the danger is the same danger: one insane person wielding a pistol; a despicable person who was put up to it by a great deal of incitement.”

“But 2021 was a turning point. After dark years of fear and silence, the people of Israel stood up,” Benartzi continued, referencing Netanyahu’s removal from office and the formation of a new government.

“After a long war for its freedom and democratic character, the people of Israel were victorious. Against open violence both verbal and physical, facing a culture of dictatorship and lies, the Israeli spirit triumphed, and government of the people defeated government of the individual.”

“For the last quarter century, Israel has been suffering from post-trauma which is being fueled by those people who take delight in the pain.”

“But I can say that this morning, 26 years after that terrible night…I can tell you that now that terrible period is over.

On Sunday, it was reported that Netanyahu was not planning on attending this year’s memorial ceremony.

In the past, Netanyahu and members of the Rabin family, including Benartzi, have clashed during the memorial ceremony.

In 2019, Benartzi said, hinting at Netanyahu, "If you have a blemish, step aside."

Netanyahu replied at the time, "The memorial has become a disgraceful political outburst. They take advantage of the official memorial ceremony for false political propaganda. We see a direct link between this disrespectful behavior and the difficulty of uniting the people, healing the wound."