Two Rabin Memorial Ceremonies to Be Held This Year

Former President Shimon Peres will speak at one of the ceremonies, while President Reuven Rivlin will speak at the other.

Daniel Bar-On

For the first time there are to be two large ceremonies to mark the 19th anniversary of the murder of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

One ceremony will have a clear diplomatic message, calling for advancing the diplomatic process with the Palestinians, while the other will deal with defending democracy and condemning violence and racism.

While in the past there were differences about how to mark the assassination’s anniversary, in the end there was always one central ceremony. This time, assembly organizers are insisting on holding separate events.

The first gathering, at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday night, November 1, is being organized by the Israel Peace Initiative association, headed by Yuval Rabin, the son of the late prime minister, and will call to advance a regional peace arrangement. Former President Shimon Peres will be the featured speaker at the event, which will also be addressed by Yuval Rabin and Eshkol Regional Council Chairman Haim Yellin. The event’s Facebook page describes it as “the main rally at the square.”

A week later, on Saturday night, November 8, there will be another rally at Rabin Square, sponsored by the We Remember the Murder, We Fight for Democracy coalition. This coalition, led by several national youth groups, was launched three years ago after the Rabin Center said it would no longer organize the annual memorial assembly, and for the past two years organized the rally itself. The keynote speaker at this event will be President Reuven Rivlin, and the event’s Facebook page calls it, “the central rally.”

To mitigate the split, Yuval Rabin earlier this month wrote to the general secretary of the Noar Oved Vehalomed youth movement, Ro’i Yesod, one of the organizers of the second event, saying, “If I could I would come to your rally, but I’m prevented from doing so because of a previous commitment. However, I want to clarify that I will call on the crowd at our rally to come to yours as well.”