Yitzhak Rabin splits Labor from the grave

Political parties have been fighting over the former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

July 1, 2019 19:16
2 minute read.
 Yasser Arafat peace white house bill clinton yitzchak rabin

PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat (right) shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (left), as U.S. President Bill Clinton stands between them, after the signing of the Israeli-PLO peace accord, at the White House in Washington, on September 13, 1993. (photo credit: GARY HERSHORN/REUTERS)

In every election campaign in Israel, there are complaints of a “mole” leaking information from one party to another.

It happened ahead of the April 9 race, when taped conversations of Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and his maiden political speech were leaked to the media.

It appeared there was another mole on Monday morning, when Labor leadership candidate Amir Peretz and former prime minister Ehud Barak both decided to play the Yitzhak Rabin card at the same time.
Peretz announced that he would hold an event Monday at 11am at the monument for the former prime minister in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square with Labor Youth activists and elderly activists who were close to Rabin when he was in politics.

“In the place where a lowly murderer destroyed the hopes of an entire nation, we will start the journey of rehabilitating Labor on the basis of the values of Rabin’s legacy,” Peretz announced

Two hours before the event, former prime minister Ehud Barak announced that his as yet unnamed party had drafted Rabin’s granddaughter Noa Rotman, who would be a Knesset candidate on the list.

“I assure you there was no conspiracy,” a Barak spokeswoman said. “We have been working on this for days. Ehud met with Noa a number of times. There was no connection to Peretz.”

Even if there was no mole and no conspiracy, Barak completely undermined the event of Peretz, who is the one Labor leadership candidate who would not automatically give Barak the top slot on a united list of the two parties.

By joining Barak the day before the Labor primary, Rotman completely undermined her father’s former political home. After her powerful speech at her grandfather’s funeral. Rotman was seen as the face of Labor’s future, and she is exactly the kind of candidate Labor seeks out.

What kind of message does it send about the party’s chances for survival when she jumps ship right before Labor elects a new leader?

Barak and Peretz are among many who have branded themselves as Rabin’s successor. There are those on the Right who say that his actual views have been twisted for political reasons.  

“There is no way that Rabin would have voted for the party Barak is forming, because Rabin was very cautious, opposed a Palestinian state and insisted on defensible borders that included the Jordan Valley,” Blue and White MK Moshe Ya’alon said.

After Menachem Begin was put on campaign posters by multiple parties in the April election, now it is Rabin’s turn.

Following a day in which the parties fought over Rabin, his legacy will remain up for interpretation.

After all, there is no mole who can reveal what Rabin's views would be today. 

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