Former IDF Major-General and Minister of Tourism Rechavam Ze’evi HY’D was gunned down in a terrorist attack in 2001 at the age of 75. Ze’evi was gunned down at point blank range by a PFLP terrorist in the Jerusalem Hyatt Hotel. Ze’evi, known affectionately in Israel as “Ghandi”, was also a noted historian. a decorated IDF officer and founder of the Moledet party in Knesset.
Following is an excerpt from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s remarks made at the special Knesset session in memory on Wednesday, 5 Marcheshvan.
“Thank you Mister Speaker for your important and moving remarks. I think that they reflect the feelings of very many of Israel’s citizens. When Israel is pressured to make concessions on its security, it is very easy to give in. There are ovations and ceremonies on lawns – and afterwards come the missiles and the tunnels.
“As Prime Minister, I am responsible for Israel’s security. I care about the lives of every citizen and soldier. I have been on the battlefield many times. I have risked my life for the country and I am not prepared to make concessions that will endanger our state. It must be understood that our supreme interests, with security and the unity of Jerusalem first and foremost, are not among the top concerns of those anonymous elements that are attacking us and me personally, because the attack on me comes only because I am defending the State of Israel. If I did not defend the State of Israel, if I did not vigorously uphold our national and security interests, they would not attack me. And despite all the attacks against me I will continue to defend our state. I will continue to defend the citizens of Israel.
“I would also like to add that I respect and appreciate our deep ties with the US. Since the foundation of our state we have had disagreements with the US and we will yet have them. But this is not at the expense of the deep ties between our peoples and countries. And we see this again and again, including this year, in the rise in support for the State of Israel among the American public, support that has reached an all-time high. The strategic alliance, and the alliance in values, between the two countries is continuing and will continue.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)