Yacimovich: Israeli democracy threatened by incitement, extremist Knesset bills

On 18th anniversary of Rabin's assassination, Labor MK Herzog criticizes leadership's lack of vision.

Shelly Yacimovich 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Shelly Yacimovich 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Citizens must keep a finger on the political pulse at all times, opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich said on Monday, commemorating the 18th anniversary of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination.
“The fourth of November is a formative event that is etched in all of our hearts,” Yacimovich said, though the official memorial day for Rabin is on the Hebrew anniversary of his assassination, which was last month.
“Eighteen years have passed since the murder of a prime minister, defense minister and Labor [Party] leader, Yitzhak Rabin, may his memory be blessed,” she added, speaking at a Labor faction meeting.
Yacimovich pointed out that Rabin was killed because he acted on what he believed in and the positions for which he was democratically elected.
“Rabin was murdered because he led the path to peace. His murder was not just the murder of a person but a fatal hit to democracy,” she said.
Echoing her speech at the Rabin memorial in the Knesset last month, Yacimovich said that “the public cannot be apathetic and it cannot leave the street to the extremist edges.... Israeli citizens no longer have the luxury of choosing politicians once every four years and then disappearing politically. The same incitement against democracy and the same extremist bills come back, sprouting like poison mushrooms from time to time,” Yacimovich said.
Labor faction chairman Isaac Herzog, Yacimovich’s challenger in the party’s November 21 leadership primary, criticized the government during the Rabin family’s memorial at Mount Herzl on Monday.
“We see increasing emptiness taking over our leadership, which has no vision; they just read polls and want to be popular. This leadership is addicted to maintaining the status quo without hope,” Herzog said.
According to Herzog, Rabin’s power was in his vision for the State of Israel and his willingness to do anything to make it come true.
“Compare Yitzhak Rabin’s commitment to the peace process, even in the most difficult days, to the current government’s apathy,” he said.
Herzog expressed disgust at an interview with Haggai Amir, the brother of Rabin’s murderer Yigal Amir, in Australian newspaper The Age this week, in which he said he does not regret the assassination.
“I am appalled at what the brother of the abhorrent murderer said. He shouldn’t have a platform to spread his views,” Herzog said.