Memorial Candle for late PM Yitzhak Rabin.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Despite 20 years passing, politicians on the Left continued Monday to connect then-opposition leader and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the 1995 assassination of late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.
The politicians made reference to a right-wing demonstration in Jerusalem’s Zion Square against the Oslo II agreement in which Netanyahu spoke from a porch overlooking the square. Far right activists in the crowd were seen as inciting against Rabin, weeks before he was assassinated.
“Twenty years have passed and nothing has changed,” Meretz leader Zehava Gal- On said at a meeting of her faction. “The incitement is the same. The man who was on the porch is now prime minister.”
Gal-On complained that Netanyahu has not condemned Bayit Yehudi MK Moti Yogev for writing that Supreme Court Justice Uzi Fogelman “put himself on the side of the enemy” when he ruled that Israel had to hold off on demolition of terrorists’ homes.
“We have seen that words kill and words can be the hand on the trigger,” Gal-On said. “Now also the hands are on the trigger. When there’s incitement in the coalition and the prime minister is silent, he gives his agreement to the incitement, and we have seen how far incitement can go.”
Gal-On said Netanyahu had twice as much responsibility now to condemn any incitement because he has seen the results of where right-wing criticism of the prime minister may lead.
Karmiel Mayor Adi Eldar said in a separate forum that “the fingers that pulled the trigger are now in the government.”
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid called for Yogev’s indictment and said “the prime minister’s silence about Yogev’s statement endangers Israeli democracy and the rule of law.”
But Netanyahu did appear to distance himself from Yogev at a Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting Monday, saying “the court is not acting out of malice in the matter of demolishing terrorists’ houses and it is not helping our enemies.”
Netanyahu explained that the government decided to demolish terrorists’ houses and to try to do so as soon after an attack as possible, in order to strengthen deterrence.
“All we’re asking from the courts is to decide more quickly, even if the final decision goes against our stance,” he said.Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.