Yitzhak Rabin 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
President Shimon Peres joined the children, grandchildren and
great-grandchildren of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin on Friday at the monument
erected on the site of Rabin’s assassination.
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Peres, who had been at a
huge peace rally in Tel Aviv with Rabin on the fateful night of November 4,
1995, laid a wreath at the monument, as did Tel Aviv Mayor Ron
Huldai. The president had just returned from Cyprus.
plaza adjacent to the monument and the Tel Aviv municipal building was renamed
Rabin Square (it was formerly Kings of Israel Square), and until this year was
the venue for large memorial gatherings to remind the nation not only of the man
who had served his country in so many capacities, but also of the harsh reality
that the inconceivable cannot be taken for granted.
The Rabin family was
not involved in organizing this year’s rally, which had been scheduled for
Saturday night, but was deferred due to inclement weather.
long moment in reflection, Peres, who in 1994 had shared a Nobel Peace Prize
with Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat, said that for him the memory of the
assassination was still as fresh as if it had happened
Declaring Rabin to be one of the great leaders of Israel,
Peres said that people of his caliber were sorely needed today.
killer had violated the Ten Commandments. said Peres, who alluded to the fact
that Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir, is religiously observant and comes from a
religiously observant family. The blot that he cast on Israel’s history by
killing the nation’s prime minister will never be erased, said
Bitter rivals for many years as they battled each other for the
leadership of the Labor Party, Rabin and Peres nonetheless worked together on
numerous peace- and security-related issues, and often saw eye to eye regardless
of their mutual antipathy.
In the final years of Rabin’s life, they
overcame their differences, and even developed a friendship, Peres
“Yitzhak Rabin will always be remembered for the greatest triumph
we have known in statesmanship,” the president said. “He paved the path to
peace, and history will respect his memory for that while we continue to shed
tears over what took place here.”