Alternative Rabin Memorial Rally to Stress Protection of Democracy

Youth movements heading the event also decry the violence and racism they say has worsened since the Gaza war this summer.

AFP

For the third year in a row, a second rally will take place to mark the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin — this one to condemn violence and racism and champion the protection of democracy. The meeting will take place Saturday night on the Tel Aviv square named after the prime minister who was slain 19 years ago.

The organizer, a coalition called Remembering the Murder, Fighting for Democracy, believes its approach will speak to a wider audience than the rally last week, which stressed the peace process. The coalition is led by youth movements.

The rally a week ago was attended by thousands; the organizers this time expect tens of thousands to show up. The keynote speaker will be President Reuven Rivlin.

Speakers will include Rachelle Fraenkel, the mother of one of the teens kidnapped and murdered in the West Bank this summer; the actress and comedian Orna Banai, who expressed sorrow over the deaths of civilians on both sides during the Gaza war; and Ali Zahalka, the principal of Kafr Qara's bilingual elementary school.

“The main rally is taking place this year after the events of the summer, which showed how badly Israeli democracy is threatened by violence in the streets, racism on the Internet and the murder of innocent people. The rally is the high point of a process of building a moderate center,” the organizers said in a statement.

Yaakov Saar / GPO

They said Israeli Arabs and Jews, religious and secular, right-wingers and left-wingers “must stand together, rise up and stop manifestations of violence, racism and incitement. This terrible crisis can give rise to a new ideological and humane center.”

Many streets near Rabin Square will be closed to traffic before and during the rally. The following streets will be closed from 6 P.M.:

Ibn Gabirol in both directions between Shaul Hamelekh and Pinkas; Shaul Hamelekh from Weizmann to Ibn Gabirol; Frischmann from Masaryk Square to Ibn Gabirol; David Hamelekh from Weizmann to Ibn Gabirol; Gordon from Shlomo Hamelekh to Malkhei Yisrael; Malkhei Yisrael in both directions from Ben-Gurion to Chen; Ben-Gurion and Hadassah from Shlomo Hamelekh to Ibn Gabirol; Bloch from Arlosoroff to Ibn Gabirol; and Arlosoroff from Weizmann to Ibn Gabirol.

Streets leading to these roads will also be closed. From 10 A.M. Saturday, parking will be prohibited on Ibn Gabirol from Zeitlin to Bloch in both directions, or anywhere on Malkhei Yisrael Street.