Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein told Army Radio on Sunday morning that the Rabin assassination had no “historical significance.” His comment followed a Saturday night memorial for slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin – that Edelstein chose not to attend – at which Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi was booed.
“The murder of Rabin had no historical significance, Yigal Amir does not dictate our positions or the issues of the day,” Edelstein said.
“When they asked me to come, several of the speakers refused that I be there because I’m a settler and wear a kippa,” he said. “What is this if not an attempt to silence others? I have nothing to ask forgiveness for this murder.
“If I had come and was booed, that would only be to my political advantage,” he added, referring to the crowd’s booing of Hanegbi.
“Yesterday’s protest only served to encourage the division and hated among the people.
Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg responded to Edelstein’s statement by saying, “The Rabin assassination diverted Israel from its path and stopped the peace process,” she said. “That was its goal and in that it succeeded. Any attempt to deny this is part of a failure to confront reality and the absence of responsibility for the atmosphere that led to the murder. Edelstein’s response demeans his public stature and proves that not only then but also today the Right has learned nothing and changed not at all.”
Hanegbi himself dismissed the crowd’s response at the rally.
“I’m happy that I came, for the hundreds of thousands who were listening at home,” Hanegbi said. “When the Left needs to speak with our enemies, they do it, but it is more difficult to speak with their brothers on the other side of the political spectrum.”
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