Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not be attending the annual memorial ceremony in honor of assassinated former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, according to a Tuesday morning report from 103FM.
This will mark the first time a sitting prime minister has chosen not to attend the Rabin memorial ceremony.
Rabin was assassinated by far-right extremist Yigal Amir on November 4, 1995, in the wake of progress in the Oslo Accords and the rise in terror attacks that followed it.
Why is Netanyahu skipping the ceremony?
Radio presenter Ron Koffman said of the reported PMO notification that the event has become too political for Netanyahu's liking. "It's a political ceremony every year and [Rabin's] family always criticizes Netanyahu. So he said 'Thank you very much, I'll give it up.'"
"This is an event where every year he sits and some grandchild comes up to him and reprimands him," said co-presenter Yinon Magal. "It's not appropriate."
However, Magal did argue that despite the difficulties, Netanyahu should still be present at the event as the sitting Prime Minister of Israel.
In 2021 and 2022 when Netanyahu was not sitting prime minister, he did not attend the Rabin memorial ceremonies either.
National Unity Party leader Benny Gantz responded to Netanyahu's decision to skip the event, saying:
"During 38 years of IDF service, I knocked on doors of hundreds of bereaved families...On the doorstep, there were families who blamed [us], shouted, slammed the door. But even when I knew in advance that that was the reception I would receive, I showed up. I did this out of personal duty...and national duty.
"Netanyahu's decision to be absent from the official memorial ceremony for Yitzkah Rabin is anti-state, but -even worse- it's a failure in leadership. No matter how much criticism he receives, the prime minister of Israel must do the right thing - honor the memory of a murdered prime minister and show up for the ceremony. If not in the name of his personal duty, then in the name of the State of Israel and all its citizens."