The leader of the Zehut (or “Identity”) party says the danger of trampling on democracy, as the left did during the Oslo Accords, is the real lesson to take from Rabin’s assassination.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Moshe Feiglin, former deputy speaker of the Knesset for the Likud, and leader of a new party Zehut, (or “Identity”) reacted Tuesday after members of Rabin’s family and others on Israel’s political left politicized Sunday’s memorials commemorating the 23rd anniversary of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination.
Feiglin founded Zo Artzeinu (“This is Our Land”) in 1994, a movement to protest the Oslo Accords signed by Rabin and PLO Chief Yasser Arafat in 1993.
In an interview with news site Arutz 7, Feiglin said that the Rabin government created a “tyrannical reality” which ignored the wishes of half of the Israeli public. The contempt in which the prime minister held his opponents also played a large role, he says, as did the failure of the “so-called keepers of democracy” – the press and the courts.
“Rabin called the half of a country that he was trampling ‘propellors’ [who could just spin in the wind] and the like,” Feiglin said. “And all those so-called gatekeepers, the courts and the media, instead of expressing the feelings of at least half the public, they abandoned them, and made them look ridiculous … and the courts didn’t help them at all.”
The fault is therefore not on the Right – and certainly not as a whole, Feiglin says.
“And when you answer non-violent civil disobedience such as Zo Artzeinu practiced – which is the essence of democracy – with extraordinary violence, you leave the arena [ripe] for ‘wild weeds,’” Feiglin said, referring to Yigal Amir, the man who murdered Rabin in November, 1995. “He was definitely a ‘wild weed,’ make no mistake [i.e. an exception], who did something evil and indecent in every way.”
Feiglin noted that each year the left-wing makes a dangerous and false charge, confusing the murder of Rabin, the man, with his political legacy.
“The minute you confuse the murder – which was truly horrific … with [Rabin’s] political legacy, you’re trying to say that whoever didn’t agree with his opinion incited then and continues to do so now,” Feiglin said.
“It was in this context that former premier Ehud Barak called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a murderer on the radio, and Rabin’s granddaughter Noa Rothman’s attacked the current government at the state ceremony Sunday,” he said.
Rothman said: “If you do not stop the campaign of incitement and tongue-lashing against anyone who does not agree with your line, blood will be shed here.”
Those who talk in such a fashion are doing so for “political profit alone,” he said. But the public now rejects the Oslo Accords and recognizes its “awful consequences.”
If the left continues to turn Rabin’s legacy into a political plaything, it will be reduced to the property of a private political party instead of “an event that really should have been a national one,” Feiglin said.