Labor MKs criticize proposal to take down Rabin's picture

MK proposes picture be replaced with that of Ben-Gurion because he symbolizes "can-do spirit"; party members: proposal "shameful."

October 19, 2010 20:32
1 minute read.
Independence MK Einat Wilf

Labor MK Einat Wilf. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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On the 15th anniversary of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, Labor party members criticized fellow MK Einat Wilf's proposal to remove Rabin's picture from the party's meeting room in the Knesset as well as her call to end the annual rally held in memory of the late prime minister.    

Wilf previously proposed that Rabin's picture be replaced with that of former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion because he is a symbol of "rebirth" while Rabin remains, "in the eyes of many, a symbol of missed opportunities."

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MK Daniel Ben-Simon said Wilf's sentiments were shameful and "harm the memory and legacy of the former prime minister." He added, "This particularly hurts because it comes from here, from within the party."

In an op-ed written for The Jerusalem Post appearing in Wednesday's paper, Wilf said the small photo of Ben-Gurion hanging in the Labor party's conference room, compared to the dominant painting of Rabin there, encapsulates "the story of the party’s decline since the assassination of Rabin. Both were great and bold leaders of the party, but they have come to symbolize very different things."

"Ben-Gurion has come to be defined by what he has done. Rabin, assassinated, has come to be defined by what he could have done," she said. "Between those two poles, we have wallowed in what could have been, mourning the disappearance of a bright future that was violently wrested from our hands. We have left behind the boldness of action and vision that marked Israel’s and the Labor Party’s can-do spirit."

Wilf added that halting the ceremony held every year at Rabin Square in memory of the slain prime minister was "not necessarily a bad thing."

"It might be exactly what we need to leave behind 15 years of mourning, and return to the day before, to November 3, 1995, when we passionately believed in our ability to shape a future for Israel, and in our duty to do so," she said.

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