Israel’s President Peres Memorializes Rabin on 18th Anniversary of Assasination
On the 18th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s President Shimon Peres said Wednesday that the political leader “had the courage to take hold of history and shape its direction.”
Speaking at a memorial service, Peres said, “Yitzhak Rabin, born in Jerusalem, a fighter for Jerusalem and the unifier of Jerusalem. He lays in rest here in Jerusalem’s soil alongside his wife Leah. He survived the flames of war but was exposed to the gun of the murderer who pulled the trigger, shot in the back. His crime will never be forgiven.”
“The Two State Solution will maintain Israel’s moral character and its future as a Jewish democratic state. Those who delude themselves that the status quo between us and the Palestinians will continue may become a victim of their delusions,” Peres said.
Rabin was assassinated in 1995 by Yigal Amir, an Israeli Jew who opposed Rabin’s peace initiative at the time with the PLO.
“Leaders are tested by the goals they set for the nation, by finding ways to achieve those goals even when reality seems imposing. Yitzhak Rabin understood this and had the courage to take hold of history and shape its direction. Rabin was assassinated but the need to take the historical decision remains,” Peres said. “Yitzhak believed that peace requires security and security was needed for our peace. The peace process is not a luxury. It is difficult and often heartbreaking. Until the last moment of his life he hoped that we could complete the process. He knew that the path to peace was not yet paved but that those who were willing to walk it anyway would pave the way.”
“In today’s world lone murderers operate to destroy whole systems. Small organizations try to destabilize whole countries. They are a danger to the country. Yitzhak Rabin’s murder was the epitome, the worst of these actions. If we do not root out this phenomena at its core, dangerous and poisonous plants may grow in the future,” Peres warned.
Peres concluded with words he delivered 18 years ago while standing by Rabin’s grave: “You resembled no one; nor did you seek to emulate anyone. You were not one of the ‘joyous and merry.’ You were one who made great demands – first of yourself and therefore also of others. You refused to accept failures, and you were not intimidated by pinnacles. You knew every detail, and you grasped the overall picture. You shaped the details one by one to form great steps, great decisions.”
“May the memory of Yitzhak and Leah Rabin be forever saved in the memory of our nation in this generation and generations to come,” he added.