This year Rabinfest has started out with signs that the public has had enough. Like this:
After a decade and a half in which the Israeli Left used hyped-up annual memorials to turn slain Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin into a hallowed martyr figure, a Knesset member for Rabin's Labor party says this was a mistake. On the 15th anniversary of Rabin's assassination, MK Einat Wilf has asked her party to move Rabin's oversized portrait from its central position on the Labor Knesset faction room wall, and to put back the picture of David Ben-Gurion that hung there previously.Israelis have also had enough of "bein hametzarim":
Ben-Gurion was Israel's first prime minister and the head of Mapai, Labor's predecessor. He announced the re-establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, led the country during the War of Independence and was the dominant figure in Israeli politics for decades.
Rabin's portrait hangs between two Israeli flags behind the head of the table, behind the seat that is reserved for the party chairman.
"It is time for the Labor party to stop clinging to what could have been and to cease building up Rabin as a symbol of all the hopes that have been lost,” Wilf said in a Ma'ariv newspaper interview. “I want to place David Ben-Gurion's portrait at the head of the room as is proper for a person who represents the nation's resurgence, and not the picture of the man who symbolizes, for many, missed opportunities.”
Looking at Rabin's and Ben-Gurion's portraits, she said, made her understand what was causing Labor's public standing to slide downward since the 1995 assassination. Labor, she clarified, “identifies him with all that he could have been and did not become. Instead of identifying with a Ben-Gurion-style spirit of action, we identify with an unfulfilled future."
In order to unite the people around the Rabin memorial day nonetheless, 44% recommend marking it only according to the Hebrew date – the 12th day of Heshvan, while 10% say it should be united with the anniversary of biblical matriarch Rachel's death, which is marked the day before. Twenty-one percent, on the other hand, have no interest in a memorial day which would unite the people, and the rest (25%) did not respond.