On David Ben-Gurion's yahrzeit: The pettiness of politics - analysis

On the 47th anniversary of his demise, Ben-Gurion, who was occasionally capable of pettiness himself, might be turning in his grave at such a childish display of political pettiness.

Memorial ceremony for David Ben-Gurion (photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)
Memorial ceremony for David Ben-Gurion
(photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)
Every year, on the anniversary of the death of Israel's founding prime minister David Ben-Gurion, the president, prime minister and defense minister, along with the Supreme Court president, members of Knesset, representatives of the national institutions and members of Ben-Gurion's family, make their way to Sde Boker, where Ben-Gurion was laid to rest.
This year, due to restrictions on the number of attendees at social gatherings, there were far fewer people than usual, though some of those who would have been present under ordinary circumstances could be seen on Zoom.
The ceremony that was being recorded and relayed by the Government Press Office, could also be seen on the social media platforms of President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
But therein lies the rub.
Whoever accessed the President's Facebook page, was informed following his address, after Netanyahu had already mounted the podium to speak, that this was the end of the broadcast.
Anyone who wanted to hear Netanyahu had to quickly rush to the prime minister's Facebook page.
On the 47th anniversary of his demise, Ben-Gurion, who was occasionally capable of pettiness himself, might be turning in his grave at such a childish display of political pettiness.
Surely the whole program could have been broadcast from beginning to end on the social media platforms of both the president and the prime minister.  After all, they were honoring the man without whose dedication to a vision and an ideal, the positions they hold would not be possible.
But this pettiness would not be the only thing upsetting Ben-Gurion.  
The Labor Party, which he led for so many years, is in danger of extinction. Its current chairman, Economic Minister Amir Peretz, participated in the memorial ceremony via Zoom, when he should have been present in person. 
Aware of the frequency with which the heads of the Labor Party lose out in primary elections, Peretz wants to change the rules of the primaries to strengthen the possibility of his re-election, but this move is being fought by Labor MK Merav Michaeli, who was opposed to Peretz and Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services Itzik Shmuli joining the government.
As if this was not enough to cause Ben-Gurion grief, the Midreshet Sde Boker that preserves and disseminates Ben-Gurion's legacy is under threat of collapse because it has no budget.   
Underscoring its historic, strategic and educational importance, Rivlin appealed to the prime minister and the government to find a means of resolving the problem, so that future generations of Israelis will not forget that the future of a nation is linked to its past.
In keeping with his habit of introducing the coronavirus or the danger of Iranian nuclear weapons into his speeches, whatever the occasion, Netanyahu stayed true to form and warned that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.  
In expressing confidence in the anti-coronavirus vaccines that are being developed, Netanyahu recalled that when he was a boy, there had been a polio epidemic which caused a global scare. In the mid-1950s, a vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk put an end to fears and since then, other vaccines have been developed. The prime minister was certain that this will also be the case with anti-coronavirus vaccines.
The ceremony at Sde Boker was a military ceremony, because in addition to being the founding prime minister, Ben-Gurion was also the nation's first defense minister.
Kaddish was recited by his 80-year-old grandson Yariv Ben-Eliezer.