Peres stands by commemorative poster for Rabin 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday spoke of non-violent societal discourse, strengthening the IDF to safeguard Israel's future, and making peace with regional neighbors as the three lessons to be learned and passed down from slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Speaking at the official memorial on Mount Herzl marking 17 years since Rabin's assassination, Netanyahu noted that an entire generation of Israelis have been born since Rabin's murder, emphasizing the importance of teaching the tragedy of his death from generation to generation.
"We need to ensure that Israel is free for debate, and free from violence," Netanyahu said, explaining that everybody has the right to voice their opinion but nobody has the right to raise their hand in violence. Rabin's murderer, Yigal Amir, Netanyahu added, will not be forgiven.
Noting that Rabin identified the Iranian threat during his tenure as prime minister, Netanyahu said part of Rabin's legacy is maintaining the IDF's strength. The final aspect of Rabin's legacy Netanyahu chose to discuss was his willingness and realistic approach to making peace with Israel's neighbors.
President Shimon Peres, who served as foreign minister under Rabin, praised his dedication and courage in leading Israel through times of war as well as times of peacemaking.
Touting the dual aims of the Rabin government under which he himself served, Peres said Rabin rejected a bi-national state because he feared it would lead to an endless bi-national conflict.
"Rabin knew that the absence of decisiveness was likely to bring about a situation in which events would lead us, instead of us leading them," Peres added.