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2 Jan, 2019 13:28

‘Shameful’: Israeli Defense Ministry's leadership memorial criticized for notable omissions

‘Shameful’: Israeli Defense Ministry's leadership memorial criticized for notable omissions

Benjamin Netanyahu’s Defense Ministry is accused of rewriting history as a memorial to former Israeli leaders contains notable absences, such as the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres’ time as president.

The former home of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, and the country’s old defense headquarters was recently renovated to “remain faithful to the original look while preserving the house’s spirit.” However, eyebrows have been raised at a number of missing details and curious caption choices, Haaretz reports.

A ceremony was held to mark the renovation works at the site in Tel Aviv in September and the building has since opened to the public.

A wall dedicated to Israel’s prime ministers was missing the 12th prime minister, Ehud Olmert. He served from 2006-2009, before resigning over charges of bribery and corruption. Parliamentary elections followed, and Netanyahu became prime minister.

There was no mention of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination, which perhaps comes as no surprise given Netanyahu has been accused of inciting violence against the Labor Party leader before he was killed in 1995 by right-wing extremist Yigal Amir.

Amir considered Rabin a traitor for agreeing to the Oslo Accords with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. 

"Netanyahu has made one further step in distorting history, shaping it in his own image,” said Labor MK Merav Michaeli, who added:

He, who led the incitement that resulted in Rabin’s murder, and who continued doing so against people continuing in Rabin’s path, is now trying to erase the murder, the peace treaties and Peres’ presidency.

Meanwhile, an official involved in the renovation told Haaretz that the decision to omit Rabin’s killing was “shameful.”

“It’s obvious that when you write about Rabin, everyone remembers the assassination,” they added. “It’s not something that’s suddenly forgotten.”

READ MORE: Honest debate needed about legacy of Israel’s expulsion of the Palestinians – Ken Livingstone

While Shimon Peres was featured on the wall, his term as president from 2007-2014 was not mentioned – but his time as defense minister was.

Netanyahu ran against Peres for prime minister in the 1996 general election, winning by just one percent. He became prime minister for the second time in 1999, which was during Peres’ presidency.  

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Netanyahu’s caption on the wall described him as being “the finance minister who led extensive reforms in Israel’s economy,” with his role as opposition leader featured, whereas other prime ministers’ cabinet positions didn’t receive a mention.

Details from Netanyahu’s own terms were missing, like any mention of the conflicts Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012 and 2014’s Operation Protective Edge.

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RT has contacted the Defense Ministry for comment about the memorial wall.

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