Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Matter of Expectoration

In 1995, two Yeshiva students were caught spitting on Yitzhak Rabin's grave and brought to trial.

Two ultra-Orthodox Jews apologized yesterday for spitting on the grave of murdered Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin but denied trying to urinate there. "I did it without thinking," Yehudah Kiegel, 20, told a judge after he and a fellow seminarian were arrested yesterday at Mount Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem. Kiegel admitted spitting three times on the fresh grave of the international hero, but he said it wasn't planned. "I had a thought, it happened in a second," he said. "I'm very sorry about it. Really, I can't think why I did it. It's as though I was crazy."

Avraham Birenbaum, 20, said he spat once on the grave and "might have made an obscene gesture." But he did so, he said, without evil intent. Still, the judge described the desecration as akin to "undermining the foundations of the state." He ordered the students held for six days while cops probe whether anyone at their school, the Beer Ha Torah Yeshiva, incited their actions. They face up to three years in jail.

Rabbi Aharon Feldman expelled them from the Yeshiva.

And what happened today?


Meretz youth activists on Thursday put up a sign on former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin's grave bearing the words "Shalom Labor."

Referring to former US president Bill Clinton's famous "Shalom friend" eulogy at Rabin's funeral, the message insinuated that the founding party was dead.

Labor released a statement calling what the activists did an "ugly, shameful and cheap provocation from a party the people are sick of."

And what will happen to these Meretz activists?

After all, 14 years ago,

The desecration is "lunacy," said Yossi Beilin, minister of the economy, who is expected to be a key player in Prime Minister Shimon Peres' new government. Beilin called for an end to state funding to groups that foment extremism.

Didn't these Meretz 'lunatics' symbolically "spit" on Rabin's grave?

Were they not acting out of extremism?

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