Israeli opposition leaders said they have received death threats in response to their plan to form a government that would oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a backlash that has raised the specter of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
“This is the time for all public leaders to come out in an unequivocal call against every threat, whatever the democratic decisions are,” said Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, per the Times of Israel. “We all need to respect them and avoid sparking a dispute — let alone, God forbid, a civil war.”
Right-wing politician Naftali Bennett’s announcement Sunday that he planned to deliver the necessary votes to form a government with center-left opposition leader Yair Lapid sparked an uproar in Israel. Netanyahu accused him of making a self-interested play for the prime minister’s office at the expense of Israeli security, but the opposition leaders denounced Netanyahu with thinly veiled references to allegations that he was responsible for Rabin’s death at the hands of a right-wing extremist who opposed the Oslo Accords.
“That fact that elected officials are being threatened over taking part in democratic processes raises a great concern that we have not learned the lesson, neither from the Jewish history of baseless hatred nor from the murder of Rabin,” Gantz said. (Read more from “Netanyahu’s Opposition Rivals Warn of Civil War in Israel” HERE)
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