Following criticism over its omission of the Rabin assassination from exhibitions across the country showcasing significant events throughout Israeli history, the Education Ministry announced Wednesday that it had corrected “the mishap.”
Earlier, the Haaretz daily reported that the 1995 assassination of Israel’s serving prime minister Yitzhak Rabin by an Israeli Jewish extremist was missing from prominent historical events highlighted at the “Education Parks” erected for the Hannukah holiday in six different cities. The exhibits have been visited by tens of thousands who were treated to a “journey through the decades” in honor of Israel’s upcoming 70th birthday.
While the Operation Solomon airlift of Ethiopian Jews to Israel, the Gulf War, the signing of a peace treaty with Jordan and the immigration of Soviet Jewry all earned mentions in the chapter on the 1990s, Rabin’s assassination at the hands of Yigal Amir was not there.
Even the invention of the cherry tomato and the release of a new album by Israeli singer Eyal Golan earned mention from that decade, Haaretz reported. However, it also noted that a number of wars also went unmentioned, including the Six Day War, the Second Lebanon War, Operation Cast Lead and Operation Protective Edge.
Meretz lawmaker Ilan Gilon panned the omission in a Wednesday tweet. “Deleting and rewriting history is the primary occupation of Education Minister Naftali Bennett and his friends in the Jewish Home Party,” Gilon wrote.
In its initial response to criticism regarding the omission of the assassination, the Education Ministry said that “in a short presentation it is impossible to present the entire history of Israel.”
However, after adding the assassination to one of its exhibitions in Haifa, the ministry released a new statement saying that “unfortunately, there had been a mishap.”
In an Israel Radio interview, Bennett likewise called the omission a “mistake.”
“Rabin’s assassination was a dramatic event in the history of the state. I did not know that it would not be appearing (in the exhibition),” he said. “There will always be mishaps like these when you run such a large system such as the education system.”