Labor condemns Rabin memorial vandalism as 'hatred'

Rabin Center denounces defacing of monument; National Union Ben-Ari calls action "gentle"; suspect lost family in 2001 Sbarro terror attack.

Vandalized Yitzhak Rabin memorial 311 (photo credit: Neri Zilber)
Vandalized Yitzhak Rabin memorial 311
(photo credit: Neri Zilber)
The desecration of Yitzhak Rabin's memorial monument early Friday morning, has sparked both condemnation and justification from various bodies.
The Labor party in a press release condemned the act of vandalism which included far-right graffiti and paint: "Rabins's assassination and the monument are a national symbol that serves as a constant reminder that extremism and violence endanger the state of Israel."
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The suspect, Shvuel Schijveschuurder, lost both parents and 3 siblings in the 2001 Sbarro attack. An unconfirmed list released by Hamas Thursday, included one of the terrorists involved in the Sbarro bombing amongst those expected to be released in the prisoner exchange deal to free Gilad Schalit this week.
Labor  stated that "Even during these days of heightened emotions, such actions of hatred and extremism should be rejected with disgust. The law enforcement system must be firm and alert during these times to prevent serious acts of this kind."
The Yitzkah Rabin memorial monument denounced "all activities of vandalism and damage to the site, which is a symbol and memory of the murder of Yitzhak Rabin, the late prime minister. The monument, which over the years has become a heritage site, is a memory and a lesson learned in Israeli society."
"The Rabin Center welcomes the approval of the deal for the return of captured soldier Gilad Schalit, blesses the Schalit family, and sees in his release the state of Israel's obligation to its soldiers."
The Center added that it "works to perpetuate Yitzhak Rabin's memory and to examine the lessons that Israeli society should derive from the assassination, its circumstances and its consequences."
Conversely, National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari said Friday that the suspect who vandalized the Rabin memorial "gently" expressed the fury of terror survivors, Israel Radio reported.
"The release of killers is apt to anarchy and not a lawful state. In anarchy boundaries are crossed, and even Yitzhak Rabin's gravestone has lost its glory and sanctity," Ben-Ari said in reference to the impending release of terrorists as part of Israel's agreement with Hamas for the return of Gilad Schalit.
The words "price tag" and "free Yigal Amir" were scrawled in large letters on a wall and on the memorial structure adjacent to Rabin Square.
A man in his twenties was arrested and released on Friday after allegedly vandalizing the monument with far-right graffiti and paint.
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.