Yonatan Ben Artzi, the grandson of late Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, was assailed by politicians and members of the media for the speech he gave Sunday during the memorial marking the 24th anniversary of his grandfather’s assassination.
Ban Artzi claimed during the ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem that the country was falling apart and demanded that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resign over the corruption cases he was facing.
While not mentioning Netanyahu by name, he said that “the many years you have been in power have caused you to forget what it is like to be a human being. Take responsibility for your actions and move aside. Quit your job.”
Responding to the attack later during the ceremony at the Knesset, Netanyahu said that he came “to what was supposed to be a state memorial, unfortunately this year again there were those who decided to take advantage of the memorial for a blatant and shameful political attack that is most detrimental to Yitzhak Rabin’s memory.”
Minister of Science and Technology Ophir Akunis accused Ben Artzi of “cynically” utilizing the state memorial.
“The country is neither destroyed nor has it collapsed, and the truth is not just on their side,” he said.
“It is a pity that Rabin’s grandson did not learn from him to respect the national symbols,” he added.
Minister of Sports and Culture Miri Regev said she regretted that Ben Artzi “disparaged the state memorial service and thus dishonored his grandfather.”
“This is not a private memorial service, and the speakers are expected to honor the occasion. Those who advocate unity cannot, in the same breath, denounce and insult half of the nation’s citizens, the ministers of the Israeli government and the prime minister,” she said.
Reports across the spectrum said Ben Artzi’s speech was disrespectful and unworthy of the state memorial in honor of his grandfather.
“Who are you, and from what position do you allow yourself to make a dirty political speech at your grandfather’s grave? In front of you, the Israeli Prime Minister is captive, along with all of us, voicing your self-righteous moral preaching,” reporter Sara Beck tweeted.
“You harmed the ceremony. You did not allow all parts of the nation to take part in the mourning. So, besides the fact that you came out repulsive and arrogant, you turned out a fool as well,” she said