Peace Now Activist Ofran: ‘We Must Not Fear. We Are Here, and We Are Many’

Thousands attended annual memorial rally at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square to mark the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on November 4, 1995.

Ilan Lior
Ilan Lior
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Ilan Lior
Ilan Lior

Around 10,000 people attended the annual memorial rally held Saturday night in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, marking the assassination on November 4, 1995, of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

This year the event was organized and funded by a new nonprofit organization, the Fourth of November 1995, rather than the Association for the Establishment of the Yitzhak Rabin Center, as in previous years. Rabin’s daughter, Dalia, who is chairwoman of the center, recently said the annual memorial in its current format has run its course and was prohibitively expensive. Nevertheless a number of family members, including Dalia’s brother, Yuval, took part in last night’s rally.

Thousands in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv marking 16 years since Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination.Credit: Daniel Bar-On

Prominent speakers included Hagit Ofran, director of Peace Now’s Settlement Watch project, whose home was recently defaced with graffiti threats identified with the right-wing extremist “price tag” campaign. The campaign is in response to perceived actions against the settlements and illegal outposts in the West Bank.

“The graffiti was sprayed in my home, but the taunts are in all of our stairwells. The tag may have marked me, but we all pay the price. We must not fear. We are here, and we are many. We have a voice and we must raise it. And today we say to Benjamin Netanyahu: We are not afraid,” Ofran said, adding that she was sure the majority of settlers oppose what was done at her home. “Decent people on the right must mark the limits of political debate and fight the rampant political violence,” Ofran said.

Yossi Sarid, who was environment minister in the Rabin government, also referred to political violence in Israeli society: “Is the next murderer already waiting near the steps?” he asked. He warned against the growing number of people who denied Rabin’s murder and actively sought to erase its memory “because the memory reminds them of their sins, reminds us of those who walked behind his coffin while he was alive” in a reference to one of the actions staged by his detractors.

“The murder was never fully investigated, and those who marked the target rabbis and politicians walk free. For them it was a perfect and profitable crime, that encourages additional hate crimes,” Sarid added.

Other speakers included Rabbi Menachem Froman, of the West Bank settlement of Tekoa; author Sahara Blau and attorney Eldad Yaniv, a founder of the National Left movement.

The comedian and actor Shaike Levi emceed the event and sang “Hare’ut,” the song most associated with Rabin. Among the many musical performers were Aviv Geffen, Danny Sanderson, Miri Aloni and Marina Maximilian Blumin.

קראו כתבה זו העברית: אלפים השתתפו בעצרת לזכר רבין בת"א: "הכנסת נותנת השראה לאלימות ברחוב"

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