Clinton at rally: I miss Rabin

10 years after assassination, as many as 200,000 pack Rabin Square.

November 11, 2005 15:45
4 minute read.
rabin special report

rabin special 298. (photo credit: )


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Ten year after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin at a peace rally in Tel Aviv, thousands gathered Saturday evening in what is now called Rabin Square to honor Israel's former prime minister. Organizers said some 200,000 people attended the rally, which began at 8p.m. Former US president Bill Clinton, who arrived at the rally accompanied by Senator Hillary Clinton and their daughter, was greeted with loud applause. "I am profoundly honored to come here today and stand in solidarity with you. There has not been a single week in the past 10 years during which I didn't think of him or miss him. He is real to me today as he was on his last day on this earth," said Clinton. "When you leave here tonight, after we will sing and we will miss him once more, remember: If he were here, he would say 'enough with all of this. Live the good life, and for goodness sakes, continue my work.' "Thank you, God bless you, Shalom Haver." Rabin's close political ally, Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres, chose to address the young people in the crowd, and called on them not only to grieve, but enter politics and serve the country - like Rabin had - thus implementing his political vision. "Enter politics, and go on the journey...peace is in your hands," Peres told the crowd. Eithan Haber, who was Rabin's bureau chief, said at the rally that the State of Israel is continuing on the path paved by Yitzhak Rabin. "His dream is becoming a reality, though without him." Haber said the sadness over the assassination of the former prime minister should be shared among all the people of Israel. "Tears have no political color," he said. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Likud) told the crowd that for her, despite the signs and banners carried by many standing in the square, "this evening is not political and can be above politics." "I did not elect him, but he was my country's chosen prime minister. I came today as a justice minister to say: no to violence, yes to respecting the way of the other." Newly elected Labor head Amir Peretz and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai also spoke at the rally, which concluded with the "Song of Peace" by Miri Aloni, who sung it with Rabin at the rally 10 years ago. A lone microphone was placed on the stage, marking where Rabin had stood that night. Many popular musicians performed at the memorial rally, including David Broza, Aviv Gefen, Achinoam Nini and Mosh Ben-Ari. The rally is carried live on the Reshet Gimel and Reshet Bet radio stations. The rally was secured by 1,500 police and volunteers. Jordan's King Abdullah II, who planned to attend memorial services in honor of Rabin, canceled in the wake of Wednesday's terror attacks in Amman. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will also attend Rabin's memorial services. On Sunday, Rice will deliver a policy address at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. She also plans to meet with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday. A memorial event at the Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem will take place on Monday, and another at the Knesset. It will be followed by an event at the Rabin Center in Tel Aviv, which will be attended by Sharon. Also expected to attend are former secretary of state James Baker, the prime minister of Ethiopia, and European Union's foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

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