How could it be that President Moshe Katzav and every government minister missed the funeral of Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal? We asked the President and government ministers for a response. Here are the answers.
President's Office: Refused to comment.
Ariel Sharon: The issue is being checked .
Shimon Peres: Spoke at a media conference by the Dead Sea which was prearranged and has been staying at a hotel since Thursday night.
Dalia Itzik: Same as above.
Yisrael Katz: A Cohen does not attend funerals, since Cohens don't enter cemeteries.
Tzahi Hanegbi: Couldn't make it, but will dedicate a moment of silence at the Likud Central Committee meeting to Wiesenthal's memory.
Silvan Shalom: Was in the United States on an official diplomatic mission.
The funeral of Simon Wiesenthal in Herzliya (Photo: AP)
Shaul Mofaz: Spoke at the trade-manufacturing forum in Tel Aviv.
Limor Livnat: "The ministers weren't told about the date of the funeral and that's why she could not arrive at the funeral of such an important man, who did so much good for the history of the State of Israel."
Tzipi Livni: The information on the funeral's date was given at a time that made it impossible for the minister to attend, despite her wish to do so.
Ehud Olmert: Was on his way from Germany to Israel, after taking part in ceremonies marking 40 years of Israeli-German diplomatic relations.
Yizhak Herzog: At an official event in Germany, where he has been since Thursday.
Danny Naveh: Couldn't arrive for personal reasons. Naveh, who served as chairman for the Ceremonies Committee, announced that "as chairman of the committee, I will work to ensure that the memory of Simon Wiesenthal is treated with the appropriate respect, in cooperation with the Yad Vashem Center."
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer: It's customary for the government secretary to send a representative. The minister admires the honor of Wiesenthal and was interested in arriving, but assumed that a minister would be sent by the government's secretary.
Matan Vilnai: Was attending a prearranged tour in the north.
Haim Ramon: On personal holiday in the north.
Gideon Ezra: Has not yet responded.
Meir Sheetrit: The issue is being checked.
Deputy Minister Michael Melchior was the only government representative at the funeral. Ynet also turned to the government secretary to ask why no minister bothered to arrive. "We thought that is the most appropriate (person to send) because of his personal ties with Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal. It's not less of an honor to send Melchior, this is a deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Office," said the government secretary in a statement.
Representatives from Germany, Russia, Britain, Austria, Poland, the United States, Italy, and the European Union attended the funeral.
The failure of government ministers to show up stood in total contradiction to the esteem and respect that Wiesenthal is held with in countries abroad. Around 200 people assembled at Vienna's main cemetery on Wednesday. The ceremony was attended by Austria's chancellor, Wolfgang Schussel.