On the occasion of the memorial of the Rabin assassination in Israel, Yamina Chairman Naftali Bennett posted on his Facebook page that on the Saturday night of the murder, “I went to a movie with my then-girlfriend Talia, at a movie theater in Haifa. I was serving as company commander in the Maglan special forces unit and was on a Shabbat holiday.”
During the movie there were rumors and at the end we went out and people were saying that Rabin was murdered. Talia and I rushed to my parents’ house where we saw them in shock front of the TV. We were all in shock. We were silent. Rabin. Commander of the Harel Brigade during the War of Independence. Chief of Staff of the Six-Day War. Israel’s prime minister, murdered by a Jew wearing a kippa.
Starting that night a tremendous attack was started against religious Zionism. Every kippa wearer was accused of murder. The general mood was: the wearers of the crocheted kippas are everywhere. among us. And they are a danger to the country.
By that time I hadn’t worn a kippa for two or three years. I was a squad commander without a kippa. Deputy company commander, and then commander of the Maglan fighters’ company – without a kippa. I knew I would wear a kippa again, but I delayed it.
As soon as I had seen the demonization of all the kippa wearers – and I knew I had almost 100 soldiers who greatly respected me – I put the kippa back on my head.
Bennett proceeded to call for tolerance and mutual acceptance in Israeli society at a time when tribalism rules the day.