Netanyahu distances himself from son’s remarks on Yitzhak Rabin

Yair Netanyahu: Rabin murdered Holocaust survivors on the Altalena

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September 8, 2019 06:26
2 minute read.
Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his son Yair

Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his son Yair. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he does not share his son Yair’s opinions after the latter slammed former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin on Twitter.

“I do not agree with what my son Yair wrote about Yitzhak Rabin, of blessed memory,” Netanyahu said on Saturday. “Yair’s opinions are his alone.”

On Friday, Yair Netanyahu responded to Democratic Union candidate Stav Shaffir, who reacted to an article comparing Rabin and Prime Minister Netanyahu by saying they are incomparable.

The younger Netanyahu wrote: “Rabin broke the law by giving lectures in America while being a public servant and made large sums of money. When he was found out, he blamed his wife and closed the case in a pleasant phone call with [then attorney-general] Aharon Barak. Rabin murdered Holocaust survivors on the Altalena. Rabin brought [former PLO leader Yasser] Arafat and tens of thousands of terrorists from Tunis and led to the deaths of 2,000 Israelis.”

The tweet referred to Rabin’s wife, Leah Rabin, having an illegal US Dollar bank account. The revelation in the press led to Rabin’s resignation from office in 1977. The Altalena was an Irgun-owned ship bringing over Jewish immigrants, including many Holocaust survivors, to the fledgling State of Israel. The ship was attacked by the IDF amid disagreements about the Irgun’s absorption into the new national army, and Rabin commanded the soldiers who shot at the ship. Rabin was prime minister when the Oslo Accords were signed, which allowed Arafat to return from exile in Tunis.

Rabin’s son, Yuval Rabin, responded on Twitter saying that “Rabin murdered Holocaust survivors” was a continuation of a doctored photo of the former prime minister in an SS uniform, which was used as a leaflet at a protest shortly before his assassination.

Rabin was referring to another tweet by Yair Netanyahu that the leaflet was made by a Shin Bet agent that was undercover with Jewish extremists.

“Is stating historic fact incitement? Can you incite against someone who’s already dead?” Netanyahu asked.

Labor-Gesher accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of inciting Rabin’s murder, saying in their reaction to the tweets that he “stood on the balcony in Zion Square [in Jerusalem] at the head of a campaign of incitement.” The party vowed to continue Rabin’s legacy and said they will sue the younger Netanyahu for libel.

Rabin’s granddaughter Noa Rothman, a candidate in Democratic Union, pointed out that “one cannot sue for libel against the dead, and therefore Amir Peretz’s lawsuit is empty of all content.”


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