Remember him, pleads Yitzhak Rabin's daughter on anniversary

By Jennifer Lipman, October 20, 2010
Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton and Yasir Arafat mark the Oslo Accords

Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton and Yasir Arafat mark the Oslo Accords

Yitzhak Rabin’s daughter Dalia has called for Israel to do more to keep the memory of the former prime minister alive at an event to mark the 15th anniversary of his assassination.

Ceremonies were held around Israel, including a candlighting with Israeli President Shimon Peres and a ceremony at the Rabin Centre in Tel Aviv.

Mr Rabin was killed in 1995 by a right-wing Orthodox Jewish fanatic during a peace concert.

More 300,000 people had gathered that night in the hope that the Oslo accords, signed by Mr Rabin and PLO chairman Yasir Arafat in 1993, would finally bring peace to the Middle East.

The assassination came just a year after he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mr Peres and Yasir Arafat.

The anniversary is today according to the Jewish calendar, but will also be observed on November 4.

Mr Rabin, the IDF chief of staff during the Six Day War, served two terms as prime minister, in the 1970s and the 1990s.

His daughter Dalia spoke of her concern that the man viewed by many as one of Israel’s greatest heroes, would be forgotten.

She said: “Fifteen years have gone by since the murder and those who enlist today do not even remember where they were on that horrible night…the night on which Israeli democracy was almost killed.

“For them, and for a million and a half students, the murder is a page in history books."

But Mr Peres said at the memorial event that the murder must not be forgiven or forgotten.

He said: "We are holding a memorial evening because we must fight forgetfulness.

"Such forgetfulness is the enemy of man. It also puts democracy in danger."

At a separate event, Israel's defence minister said more effort was needed to educate young people about the statesman and the influence he had on the country.

Ehud Barak said: "Yitzhak Rabin was a real fighter and a man of peace. We have not forgotten him for a single moment.”

There will be national event to commemorate Mr Rabin’s death later this month. Bill Clinton, who presided over the Oslo Accords, spoke at the tenth anniversary event in what is now named Rabin Square in Tel Aviv.

Mr Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir, is serving a life sentence for the murder.

Last updated: 11:13am, October 20 2010