The national-religious youth movement Bnei Akiva will participate for the first time in the memorial ceremony for slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, due to take place November 4.

The event organizers extended the invitation several weeks ago, asking Bnei Akiva Secretary- General Danny Hershberg to speak from the podium at the ceremony.

This is the first time a national- religious youth movement is taking part in the annual event.

Rabin was murdered by radical nationalist Yigal Amir in 1995.

Hershberg said that until now, Bnei Akiva had not been invited to participate in the ceremony, which had, in the past, focused on the peace process and the Oslo Accords that Rabin set in motion and that the national-religious camp largely opposed.

“Youth movements are leading this ceremony, and when Zionist movements invite us to come and participate in dialogue, then we will say yes,” Hershberg said.

Prominent national-religious figure Rabbi Benny Lau congratulated both Hershberg and Pesach Hausfater – the director of the Dror Yisrael youth movement, which is in charge of organizing the ceremony – calling the decision “courageous.”

“Both of the them stood up to voices that wanted them to entrench themselves in old positions, and both of them understood that the current time is an opportune moment to form a centrist Zionist camp which will establish clear lines for public debate in Israel,” Lau wrote on his Facebook page.

“Yes to democracy, no to violence and racism,” he declared. “Yes to debate, no to demonization.”

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