Ze'evi. Murdered by terrorists
Photo: GPO
Netanyahu: Jerusalem owes its unity to Ze'evi
State holds memorial ceremony for former minister murdered by Palestinian terrorists. Peres: He angered many but spoke from heart

The State held a memorial service Sunday for late Minister Rehavam (Gandhi) Ze'evi, who was killed eight years ago. His family and various ministers were present, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said that "Jerusalem owes a great deal to Gandhi".


"For 19 years Hebrew Jerusalem was crowded and pressed into a narrow corridor, closed off from three sides and separated by a hostile line," Netanyahu said. "The government of Israel decided to unify Jerusalem and attach the Old City. The task was given to Gandhi. The unified map approved by the Knesset was his handiwork."


President Shimon Peres said at the ceremony that Ze'evi "was perceived as a special and unconventional figure whose contribution to the establishment of the State of Israel and its social atmosphere was significant".


Peres added that "at times his comments were infuriating but they always came from his heart".


'Jewish state first, then democracy'

Ze'evi's widow Yael commented on captive soldier Gilad Shalit: "This gathering is an opportunity to address the Shalit family and tell them that 'the whole nation is with you'. Your struggle to release your son is humane, dignified, noble and restrained all at once. I pray that your struggle will soon come to an end with the return of the sons and Gilad back home. These statements are appropriate to be made upon the grave of Gandhi, who had the names of the missing in a chain around his neck."


Yael didn't comment on Hamas' demand to release her husband's murderers in exchange for Shalit as part of an all encompassing deal.


Palmach, Minister Ze'evi's son, spoke of the way his father had gone and made poignant statements regarding the need to keep the State of Israel a Jewish state first, and only later a democratic and egalitarian one. He also commented on the difficulties Israel faces in the international arena.


"It can't be helped that our days are being numbered by everyone – the Israeli Arabs, Iran and 20 other Islamic countries; the Europeans who only 62 years ago sent us to the crematoriums. This is also true to the east and parts of America that only 65 years ago forgot to bomb the death camps.


"When a people are being sold on dreams that cannot be implemented and hopes for peace for a certain period, how can one err and change directions?" Palmach pondered.


"We must decide in the spirit of Gandhi and people of his generation that those who slay Jews cannot live, that one doesn't forget about Hezbollah while it is re-grouping, that one doesn't desert the Negev in the face of Qassams threat, that one doesn't negotiate with West Bank leaders as they fight us in the United Nations and that those who kidnap and keep one of our men cannot be allowed to live."


Ze'evi's son concluded by expressing his satisfaction with Israel's election of a government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, alongside Avigdor Lieberman. "How just it was for God to have allowed you to defeat them all," Palmach noted.


Ze'evi was murdered in October of 2001 at the age of 75. His wife Yael found him dead from a gunshot wound to the head in a hotel at which they were staying. Resuscitation was attempted, but in vain.


The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the murder and the state launched a long-lasting hunt for the killers, which ended with the jailing and targeted killing of the convicted parties.


פרסום ראשון: 10.18.09, 16:17
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