(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Thousands attended a ceremony marking the fifteenth anniversary of the assassination of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin that took place Saturday night at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. Rabin Square was the site of Rabin's murder and the ceremony that takes place there every year is the central of many such ceremonies commemorating him.
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President Shimon Peres addressed the crowd at the event which featured songs from leading Israeli recording artists as well as speeches.
"This is the same square. The same Saturday. You are the same people. Some of you, maybe most of you, were with us here, then. On that same night that began with a song in our hearts and ended with three shots," said the president.
"You came to support peace. You came to instill hope for peace. To sing
with us the song of peace. In this square they killed Yitzhak and they
tried to kill peace.
"They did not and will not succeed in cutting off or destroying the only
possession we have. A priceless possession. An untaxed possession. A
possession that leads us on stormy days. We call this valuable
possession hope. We call it peace," said Peres.
Peres added that there were still those that wished to remove the Jews
from Israel and that these people do not make the way to peace any
"We are more determined than the enemies of peace and therefore we will
be victorious...only with peace can we truly win," he said.
The president said that though the Israeli people striving for peace
were missing their leader, Rabin, they would continue along the path
that he set out for them.
"Yitzhak who was "Mr. Security" became the bearer of peace. He whose
clothes were sour with the blood of his soldiers, knew the value of
Peres said that although Israel has never been defended by American
soldiers, the US has been Israel's closest friend throughout the years
and has helped the Jewish State. He thanked the US and said that
friendly relations between the two countries would continue.
The president said that Rabin's vision for peace obligated both the
young and old generations to turn the "window of opportunity for peace
that exists into a wide gateway to a full peace agreement."