Israeli Town Removes Name of Assassinated PM Yitzhak Rabin Off Main Square

The southern town of Kiryat Malakhi is now naming the square after Jacques Cohen, a regular contributor to the Jewish National Fund

Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson
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Kiryat Malakhi city hall, 2016.
Kiryat Malakhi city hall, 2016.Credit: Michael Yaakovson
Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson

The southern Israel town of Kiryat Malakhi changed the name of its main square from Yitzhak Rabin to Jacques Cohen, a regular contributor to the Jewish National Fund.

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The square is in the city center, adjacent to city hall and the main commercial plaza. After the prime minister’s murder on November 4, 1995, the square was named for Rabin, and a monument inscribed “Prime Minister and Defense Minister of Israel” was installed at the site.

Mayor Eliyahu Zohar recently renamed the square to honor Jacques Cohen, a regular donor to the U.K. branch of the Jewish National Fund. The organization recently gave 10 million shekels ($3.25 million) to the city for the renovation of the square and of preschools and sports venues. A sign put up in the square this week carries its new name and states that it was refurbished “thanks to the generous contribution” of Cohen.

Zohar told Haaretz that in his view the square did not honor Rabin’s memory and the name was changed to thank the JNF for its contribution to the town. The mayor added that the money from the JNF also helped pay for the town’s new boardwalk, which was dedicated this week. One part of it will be named for the late prime minister Yitzhak Shamir. Another part, which has yet to be built, will be named for Rabin.

In a written statement, the Kiryat Malakhi Municipality said the city’s boardwalks will be named for all of Israel’s prime ministers, by order of the mayor, and that sections which will be built later will also carry the names of the country’s premiers.

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