Knesset honors former minister, general slain by terrorist

Benjamin Netanyahu said that Ze’evi would have disapproved of the current government and its policies.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Israel’s Knesset held a special memorial service on Wednesday in honor of former Tourism Minister and storied general Rehavam Ze’evi on the 20th anniversary of his death.

Ze’evi, who was nicknamed Gandhi, was gunned down in 2001 by an operative from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) at a hotel in Jerusalem.

“The assassination of Minister Ze’evi had been planned and organized for a long time. They followed him and gathered intelligence about his itinerary,” said Knesset Speaker Micky Levy.

“The cold-blooded decision to assassinate a minister in Israel was and still is a crossing of all red lines. This was a criminal attack on the State of Israel, its symbols and unbearable violation of its sovereignty and rule.

Levy, who was serving as commander of Israel’s police division in the Jerusalem district at the time of the murder, said he remembered the slaying well.

“I was horrified to find that an Israeli minister had been murdered. It was a traumatic and terrible day in my job. I then organized the pursuing forces together with the [intelligence services] to catch the lowly terrorists.”

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Former prime minister and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu said that Ze’evi would have disapproved of the current government and its policies.

“Gandhi would not have accepted a government headed by someone who barely crossed the electoral threshold and is dependent on the Islamic Movement. He would not reconcile with a government that is 180 degrees to the left. His voice is silent, but his cry can still be heard today,” said Netanyahu.

“Unfortunately, the current government does not fight terrorism. It embodies an abysmal weakness in this and other areas, so it did not respond to rocket fire on Kiryat Shmona and machine gun fire on Sderot. Gandhi would have criticized their failures to deal with the coronavirus and their acceptance of the Iran nuclear deal.”

A large number of MKs absented themselves from the special session, including the entire Arab Joint List party and lawmakers from the Ra’am, Blue and White, Yesh Atid, Meretz, and Labor parties.

A spokesperson from Yesh Atid chalked up the absence of its MKs to the whims of each individual lawmaker.

“Each MK chose at his discretion whether to enter or not,” the spokesperson told Arutz Sheva. “There was no factional decision, and certainly not an instruction from above.”

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