MK Benny Gantz, chairman of the Blue and White party, and MK Amir Peretz, chairman of Labor-Gesher, on Sunday took advantage of the official Knesset session marking the 24th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to attack Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Gantz said at the session, "I never thought that covert actions would come to the forefront. Political conduct dictates security considerations."
He made clear to Netanyahu that it would be inappropriate for him to lead the next government if he is indicted. "At the moral and ethical levels and at the practical level, you will not be able to lead a government if and when you are indicted."
Peretz continued along the same lines and said, "Mr. Prime Minister, I can understand your complicated situation that forces you to take defensive actions every day. First you signed Likud members [to a document pledging to back you], then built a bloc, and now you’ve appointed a new defense minister like a skilled political builder. It is time for you to accept the fact that you should consider leaving your home. There is no point in continuing to hold your loyalists and the entire people in a state of uncertainty.”
"Today, you hold on to power with all your might, and the people and the state pay a dear price. And I appeal to you, Mr. Prime Minister: Do not turn Balfour into a political Masada," Peretz said.
Netanyahu strongly criticized the two.
"What we have heard here and on Mount Herzl is actually a breach of statesmanship and turning the session into an unrestricted political one. I thank Benny Gantz and Amir Peretz who are so worried about my future. You addressed the state of Israeli democracy and I said that the root of democracy is an argument," Netanyahu said.
The Prime Minister replied to his rivals and told them, "Every day they say about me that I'm a traitor, and I didn't hear anyone here condemning those claims and saying that it’s incitement to the murder of a prime minister. The other day the police arrested someone who came to murder, he said, 'I'm coming to murder you and your family.' I didn’t hear one word of condemnation."
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz also criticized Gantz who, he said, "resorted to fierce political attacks against Prime Minister Netanyahu" during the memorial session at the Knesset.
"Taking advantage of a memorial service for blatant personal attacks is a disgraceful and shameful act worthy of all condemnation," said Katz.
Jewish Home chairman and Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz added, "It is regretful that, at the memorial for Rabin's murder, they once again chose to deepen the rift and politicize the memorial. The people of Israel want, for one day, to remember without involving political positions and opinions."