'Rabin's murder for Israel was like Lincoln's death for US'

Knesset Speaker compares Israeli nat'l trauma to American civil war; official memorial ceremony held for Yitzhak Rabin held at Mount Herzl, Netanyahu says political positions coming closer together, gaps narrowing.

Rabin memorial 311 (photo credit: Channel 10 News)
Rabin memorial 311
(photo credit: Channel 10 News)
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) spoke at a gathering of the Knesset on Wednesday to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the assassination of former prime minister of Yitzhak Rabin.
Rivlin compared the experience of the assassination of Rabin for Israel as similar to the trama experienced by the North in the US after the murder of President Lincoln.
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After Rabin's assassination, said Rivlin, it is clear to all in Israel that "political arguments should not be solved by violence but only through the democratic process."
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke at the official state memorial ceremony for former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin Wednesday afternoon, saying, "Today, we are not as divided into two polarized camps, in which every individual is convinced he is most justified and truthful and all else will bring the state to disaster."
At the memorial ceremony, the mourner's kaddish was read in the presence of various dignitaries including Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz.
"There is a lot less shouting, a lot less hostility," said Netanyahu. "We listen to each other. Positions are coming closer together. The gaps are narrowing."
"Part of the nation has recognized that it is not possible to exist without a political settlement or compromise," he added.
Netanyahu continued, "And another part understands today that we are not the only ones who demand peace, and we have learned that Israel is not standing at the brink of an apocalypse and not everything is in our hands."
President Shimon Peres also spoke at the memorial and explained that despite political differences throughout the Israeli public regarding peace with the Palestinians, the differences must be solved democratically.
Peres called "on all of us to deal with these differences of opinion in a democratic manner in order to create possibilities for peace."
"There is no reason for peace to cause a difference of opinion. Peace can unite the people. I am convinced that the entire nation wants peace."
Peres also eulogized the assassinated former prime minister, commemorating his contribution to the nation and the untimely nature of his death.
"We will not forget that you were murdered. You were murdered by an evil man who planned to kill the nation's spirit," Peres said, addressing Rabin. "Your legacy, Yitzhak, was the contribution of a statesman truly leading  a nation: not to look back in rage, but forward with faith. You earned the faith of a nation.
On Tuesday night, several thousand youngsters gathered at Tel Aviv’s Kikar Rabin to take part in a memorial ceremony organized by the Israel Scouts to mark the 15th anniversary of the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Peres recalled those fateful minutes in which Rabin was assassinated speaking at Beit Hanassi at the official opening on Tuesday night of the Rabin memorial events.
After lighting a large memorial candle at a ceremony known as Ner Yitzhak, the president said that it was a candle dedicated to peace, to a promise whose flame would never be extinguished.