'Your father would be ashamed': Rabin's son heckled at Netanyahu's side
Yuval Rabin says he supports Netanyahu's call for unity government, but will not vote for him.
An official from the Meretz party heckled Yuval Rabin, the son of late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, during an appearance Rabin made with Likud chief Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on Monday.
Netanyahu said he has held a series of meetings with Rabin over recent months, during which he laid out his plans to form a wide coalition.
Rabin expressed support for Netanyahu's commitment to establish a national unity government, but he noted that he has no plans to vote for Netanyahu.
At one point during the news conference, the head of the Meretz youth wing, Ori Zachi, yelled out: "Your father would be ashamed of you."
Zachi was then hauled into custody by the Shin Bet security service and questioned as to how he managed to sneak into the event. Zachi told Haaretz that the incident did indeed reveal a serious security lapse, but that "when Yuval Rabin sits there it is a serious ideological lapse. He is shaming his father's name."
"I told Rabin what I have told the citizens of Israel," Netanyahu told the assembled journalists. "I plan on winning the elections tomorrow and forming a government with all the Zionist parties that will join us. I vow to establish a wide unity government so as to deal with the security and economic challenges."
"The pledge that Netanyahu gave to the citizens of Israel - this is what I wanted to hear, in the spirit of my father's words, that we don't a spare country," Rabin said.
"Shame on you!" Zachi then interjected. "Your father would have been ashamed of you, the entire peace camp is ashamed. You are using your name and the memory of your father to legitimize the worst government in the history of the state of Israel."
Rabin replied that the purpose of the meeting was not to endorse Netanyahu. "Mr. Netanyahu knows that I will not vote Likud," he said. "I don't see an option for a strong center-left government. There needs to be a unity government in light of the challenges before us."
Netanyahu also weighed in on the outburst by Zachi. "This attitude divides the nation," the Likud chief said. "We don't have the luxury of quarrels and dissension. I appreciate the fact that Yuval Rabin expressed a willingness to take this schism that separated us and dispense with it."
"Obviously it was not pleasant hearing these words," Rabin told Haaretz. "[Coming here] was not an easy decision and I knew that it would draw harsh criticism. I don't see an option for a left-wing government. Governmental instability is our Achilles heel. We need to return to a situation where he had two blocs that alternate power between them."
"I will vote Labor, and I hope that there will be a national unity government," Rabin said. "My father's expectations of us were that we would always be at peace with ourselves. It's not easy, it's very difficult. But there are circumstances here, and I did not establish them. We need governmental stability."