Netanyahu: Rabin pursued peace, but did not close his eyes to dangers facing Israel

Israel marks 18 years since assassination of former PM Yitzhak Rabin; Netanyahu says Rabin's murderer Yigal Amir "can never be pardoned"; Peres: Whoever thinks status-quo with Palestinians can continue is disillusioned.

Rabin Arafat Clinton 370 (photo credit: Reuters)
Rabin Arafat Clinton 370
(photo credit: Reuters)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said on the occasion of the 18th anniversary of the murder of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin that Israel today is obligated to carry on Rabin's mission to achieve peace with its neighbors.

Speaking at the official memorial ceremony for Rabin at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said that, while peace with the Palestinians is Israel's goal, the Jewish state cannot make peace with enemies who do not want peace themselves.Netanyahu stated that enemies that want the destruction of Israel cannot be given the advantage of being given territories advantageous to this goal.The prime minister said that Rabin knew well that peace with Israel's neighbors could not be achieved without Israeli military superiority."Only through our enemies understanding our power can we make peace with our neighbors," Netanyahu stated.Netanyahu said that Rabin, though he is known for pursuing peace, did not close his eyes to the dangers facing Israel.He praised Rabin for greatly contributing through his military and political roles to the current superiority of Israel's military which ensures the Jewish state's security.The prime minister said that Rabin's assassin, Yigal Amir, would "never be pardoned."President Shimon Peres spoke prior to Netanyahu, emphasizing the need to reach a diplomatic solution with the Palestinians."Whoever thinks that the status-quo with the Palestinians can continue is disillusioned and is liable to fall prey to his disillusion," he said. Peres said that Rabin had the "courage to seize the initiative and shape the path of history," adding, "Yitzhak was murdered but the need to make historical decisions remains."Peres reiterated Netanyahu's sentiment on Amir, saying that no one has the authority to pardon him for his deeds.