Photo: Knesset Channel
7 years since 'Gandhi's' assasination
Photo: Knesset Channel
Livni, 'Commitment doesn't change'
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Ze'evi memorial turns into 'election propaganda'

Ministers walk out of memorial for late minister Rehavam Ze'evi, who was assassinated seven years ago, when Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu gives 'shameless propaganda' speech

A Knesset ceremony commemorating the late minister Rehavam Ze'evi, who was assassinated by Palestinian gunmen 7 years ago, turned into yet another heated political debate, as some ministers used the event to promote their own agendas.


Opposition Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) strayed completely from the nature of the ceremony and gave a speech on "the government that will be established by me (Netanyahu)".


Netanyahu mainly detailed the education revolution that he had in mind for the children of Israel, which mainly focused on bringing them back to 'Zionist basics'. He also said that the education portfolio would be passed on to the Likud party following the upcoming general elections.


Several Labor and Meretz Knesset members left the meeting outraged. "The memorial could have (involved) less politics," said MK Ophir Pines-Paz of the Labor party.


"It's shameless," said Labor MK Eitan Cabel. MK Ran Cohen (Meretz-Yahad) added, "Bibi (Netanyahu) is shamelessly insolent, and uses Gandhi's (Ze'evi) memorial for cynical election propaganda. If it were a memorial for Netanyahu, Gandhi would not have done this to him."


'Mubarak never agreed to come here'

Foreign Minister and Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni spoke before Netanyahu and described Ze'evi, who was shot dead in the Jerusalem Hyatt hotel in October 2001 by Palestinian terrorists, as "a charming and honest man, who first and foremost symbolizes the complete Land of Israel in its historical sense. The land that each one of us, regardless of political association, is connected too at the depth of our souls."


"He symbolizes our commitment to one another…a commitment that doesn't forget and doesn't let us forget the missing and the captives. Even if the names on their dog tags change, our commitment to bringing them home never will," she added.


"We disagreed on the way, but there are days when these differences of opinion are erased and the people of Israel stand united," Livni continued. "If he were sitting here today, we would have argued. But this is the Gandhi that stood up for his opinions and beliefs till the day he died… We should always remember that horrible moment in which we realized who the State of Israel's real enemies are."


Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman, Ze'evi's former fellow party member, criticized the pullout from Gaza and the steps taken in Lebanon, saying, "The State of Israel is a Jewish state by definition. Anyone who is not willing to accept that has no place in this house or any other house from (the northern city of) Metula to Eilat."


"Ze'evi would have never put up with our concessions towards the Egyptians. Time after time we went to meet Mubarak in Egypt – he never agreed to come here for an official visit as president," he said in his speech.


"Any self respecting leader would have conditioned these meetings – does he want to talk to us? Let him come here; he doesn't want to talk to us? He can get lost."


פרסום ראשון: 10.29.08, 15:02
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