Peres eulogizes Rabin at assassination site

At memorial, president declares late PM as one of the great leaders of Israel: "He paved path to peace, history will respect his memory."

Yitzhak Rabin 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
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.
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.
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The large 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.
Spending a 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 yesterday.
Declaring Rabin to be one of the great leaders of Israel, Peres said that people of his caliber were sorely needed today.
Rabin’s 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 Peres.
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 said.
“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.”