Arab MKs, Meretz Head, to Boycott Event in Memory of Rechavam Ze’evi, Hy”d

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a memorial service for Rechavam Ze’evi, in 2011. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Tuesday will mark the 18th anniversary of the murder of former Tourism Minister Rechavam Ze’evi, Hy”d, and the Knesset will hold a special ceremony marking the event, to be attended by most MKs. Not those of the United Arab List, however; they, along with Democratic Camp head Tamar Zandberg, will boycott the ceremony, citing the minister’s “racism.”

Ze’evi was killed in a terror attack in the second Intifada in 2001. In 2005, the Knesset passed a law to commemorate Ze’evi’s memory, with special days dedicated to his legacy in Israeli schools. A number of public works are named after him, in particular a bridge in Herzliya that traverses Road 20. Left-wing parties, especially Meretz, have over the years attempted to pass laws repealing the day of remembrance.

In a statement, the United Arab List said that “it is very depressing to see how the law to remember Ze’evi passed in 2005 has turned into a concretization of the concept of the transfer of Arabs and made it a legitimate and integral part of the Israeli discourse, to the extent that it is a bedrock of the current government. The ‘legacy’ of Ze’evi is transfer and racism, which is alive and well, and it has received support in recent years from the government and the Knesset. An example of that is the Nation-State Law.”

The List, along with its components in previous years, have traditionally boycotted the ceremonies in Ze’evi’s memory, and last year the entire Meretz delegation did so as well.