Rabin memorial held amid fears of growing apathy

Ceremony marks 15 years since former prime minister's assassination; IDF chief and Dalia Rabin stress importance of remembering his death.

311_Rabin memorial (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
311_Rabin memorial
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Fifteen years after Yitzhak Rabin was slain by the bullets of an assassin opposed to dividing the Land of Israel, a memorial ceremony was held for the late prime minister in Tel Aviv on Monday, in which Rabin’s daughter noted that a new generation of Israelis had grown up without being directly affected by the fateful events of November 4, 1995.
The memorial comes amid reports that the Yitzhak Rabin Center, which is tasked with organizing the annual rally at Kikar Rabin, may discontinue the gatherings after this year for fear of dwindling participation.
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Staff are considering alternative ways of commemorating Rabin and educating youth about his legacy.
“The IDF recruits of today do not remember where they were on that terrible night, the day that the prime minister and the defense minister was murdered, on the day that Israeli democracy was almost murdered. For them, and for a million and a half pupils, the murder... is a page in history, an event from the distant and foggy past, and its connection to their lives is not at all clear,” former deputy defense minister Dalia Rabin-Pelossof said, speaking at the Rabin Center in Tel Aviv.
“Our duty, despite the years that have passed, is to ensure that the lessons from the murder are learned and internalized, so that there will be a better country and society here, which knows how to deal with unending struggles from the forces of destruction that work from the outside, and internal forces that are trying to undermine Israeli democracy,” she said.
The memorial was attended by the IDF’s General Staff and addressed by Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, who said that while Rabin “is not with us today, his spirit and legacy continue to accompany us, as does his hope to see an equal and united society, which creates and constructs.
“We return here today in the knowledge that this torch of hope, of a hundred-year-old vision that was passed down through to the leaders of the nation, is in good and dependable hands, and in the faith that it will remain in such hands in the future,” Ashkenazi said.
It was vital for the IDF to continue to commemorate Rabin, who was chief of General Staff during the Six Day War, “so that it can learn the right lessons from him,” he said.