Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu focused on central role the importance of security and defense at the Knesset's official memorial commemorating the assassination of of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin 17 year ago.
"Even when there were differences of opinion between us, I always believed that Rabin did what he thought served the national interest," Netanyahu said, specifically praising his commitment to strengthening Israel's defense apparatus.
If Israel is weak, he said, nobody would take it seriously. In a pointed reference to current politics, Netanyahu praised Rabin for standing up to US president Gerald Ford for threatening a "reassessment" of the relationship in 1975.
Following a controversial speech by Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who said the two-state solution had failed, Netanyahu noted of the Palestinians that "we don't want to rule them, but we don't want them to rule us."
Iran, he said, had "taken over" the areas from which Israel had withdrawn. "That's the main problem," he said.