Son of slain Israeli PM warns Trump about 'incitement'

Story highlights

  • The son of a former Israeli Prime Minister who was assassinated wrote an op ed about the consequence of violent political rhetoric
  • Warns of "parallels" between Israel of the 1990s and the U.S. today

(CNN)Yuval Rabin, whose father, Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated while serving as Prime Minister of Israel, criticized Donald Trump for appealing to "Second Amendment people" in a speech and warned that the words that politicians use can incite violence and undermine democracy.

"Trump's words are an incitement to the type of political violence that touched me personally," Rabin wrote in USAToday.
    He said that Trump's appeal to "Second Amendment people" to stop Hillary Clinton -- comments that were criticized as a call for violence against Clinton, something Trump denied -- "were a new level of ugliness in an ugly campaign season."
    Referencing his father, who was shot and killed by an extremist amid political tension in Israel in 1995, Rabin condemned Trump's aggressive rhetoric.
    "More than one commentator in Israel and in the U.S. has pointed to the parallels between Israel in the 1990s and the U.S. today," he wrote.
    "Intentional or not, the Republican presidential nominee is removing confidence in the democratic form of governance. If an election is seen as illegitimate, if those who supported a candidate are viewed as somehow lesser 'Americans,' then it becomes acceptable — and even appropriate — to work outside the political system," he warned.
    Rabin continued, "Some critics have called Trump a threat to American democracy. It is not my place to make this claim, and my purpose here is much more limited. But I have been touched by political violence, and have witnessed the environment that led at least one person to believe such violence was called for."
    Calling on Republican leaders to repudiate Trump's rhetoric, Rabin warned, "Trump's words are not just words. They can sow the seeds for something much more sinister."