Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem September 5, 2018..
(photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)
The same “culture of death” and “blood lust” that led terrorists to kill Rehavam “Gandhi” Ze’evi 17 years ago led to Monday’s murder in Barkan of Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday at a memorial service for the assassinated former tourism minister.
Speaking at Mount Herzl, Netanyahu said that a heritage center in Ze’evi’s name will be located in Barkan, “in the heart of the historic Land of Israel, in Samaria that Gandhi loved so much.”
“The culture of death they represent reflects the hatred, the lust for blood and murder, of those who turn those who spill blood into heroes,” Netanyahu said of the terrorists.
“They killed Gandhi, that’s true, they killed Ziv and Kim yesterday, that is true, and from time to time the best of our sons and daughters fall. It does not stop us, it did not stop us, it will not stop us. The country is flourishing, growing and strengthening, and the Jewish state is stronger than ever, and will continue to be if we only preserve the burning flame and the love of Zion.”
Ze’evi, Netanyahu said, epitomized that burning passion for Israel.
The minister had also been a former Palmah fighter, and later, an IDF general-turned-politician who formed the right-wing Moledet party. He was killed in a Jerusalem hotel in October 2001 by a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist.
Ze’evi was long controversial due to his personality and political views –his party advocated the transfer of Arabs–but a new dispute arose in 2016
with an investigative report by “Uvda” which accused him of sexual assault.
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The report has led to calls to cancel all official memorial services for Ze’evi, and on Sunday, Meretz MK Michal Rozin plans to bring a bill to that effect to a vote in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation. Two identical bills have already been voted down by the Knesset.
Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.
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