Lawmakers mourn loss of Einstein, inspiration to 'change the world'

Netanyahu, Hotovely, Shaffir and other MKs attend Einstein's open funeral at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu at Arik Einstein memorial 370 (photo credit: Koby Gidon/GPO)
Netanyahu at Arik Einstein memorial 370
(photo credit: Koby Gidon/GPO)
Politicians from all parts of the political spectrum - left, right, religious, secular, Jewish and Arab - paid tribute to Einstein on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, attended Einstein's open funeral in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square in the afternoon, as did Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely, MK Stav Shaffir (Labor), and other MKs.
The Knesset Education, Culture and Sport Committee chairman Amram Mitzna (Hatnua) opened a meeting with high schools principals by playing a clip of Einstein singing his song "You and I Will Change the World."
"Last night was a sad night after we learned about the death of our national singer, Arik Einstein, who is beloved by all," Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said in the plenum. "Arik sang: You and I will change the world. I hope that this house will continue to change the world for the better for citizens of Israel."
MKs from the Bayit Yehudi to Hadash opened their speeches in the plenum by paying tribute to Einstein and said he inspired many to try to change the world.
Deputy Minister for Liaison to the Knesset Ofir Akunis said that change will come in the form of convincing the world to be more strict with Iran about its nuclear capabilities.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett recalled using Einstein's songs in activities as a Bnei Akiva counselor and quoted one: "How I love you, Land of Israel, why am I so sad, Land of Israel."
Haredi MKs pointed out that Einstein's children and grandchildren are religious.
"They are haredim who make sure to keep the mitzvahs and halacha (religious law) perfectly," MK Uri Maklev (UTJ) said of the singer's family. "He loved them very much and was proud of them. Two years ago I saw him at his grandson's wedding...I saw his hugs and great love for his grandchildren."
"Aside from the legacy of his songs, this Jewish legacy is more important than anything else he left behind," Maklev added.