Member of Knesset Merav Michaeli's opening speech in the Knesset dealt in part with her grandfather Rudolf (Israel) Kasztner. Kasztner saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust, negotiating directly with Nazi leader Adolph Eichmann, yemach shemo, to do so. Oskar Shindler of Shindler's List fame called Kasztner the bravest man he ever knew.
Kasztner was assassinated in Tel Aviv by right wing extremists on March 15, 1957. The man who pulled the trigger later apologized to Kasztner's family and told them he had been misled by his handlers who demonized Kasztner.
Kasztner saved more Jews during the Holocaust than any other Jew was able to save.
Even so, he continues to be demonized by the far right in Israel, by their counterparts in the Diaspora, and by haredim who believe the blatant lies told about Kasztner, primarily by Satmar hasidim.
Satmar's founding rebbe, the virulent anti-Zionist leader Joel Teitelbaum, was saved by Kasztner. But to his dying day, Teitelbaum refused to thank Kasztner or the Zionist movement for facilitating that rescue, and his hasidm spread vicious lies about Kasztner and the Zionists to deflect attention away from their leader's ingratitude.
Kasztner was a candidate for Knesset twice on Mapai's list, but Mapai failed to win enough seats for Kasztner to be elected.
Now one of his granddaughter's, who for years has worked as a journalist and social commenter, has been elected on the Knesset list of Mapai's successor, the Labor Party.
Here is her first speech given in Knesset as a Member of Knesset: