Obama calls for peace in Rabin rally address


JERUSALEM (JTA) — President Obama called on Israelis to continue to pursue peace with the Palestinians, in a video message screened during a memorial to Yitzhak Rabin.

Thousands filled Rabin Square in Tel Aviv Saturday night near the site where the Israeli prime minister was shot to death 14 years ago.

"On that terrible November night, Yitzhak left us with his death," Obama said in his message, which was televised.  "Now it is up to us to carry on its meaning, to carry on his work.

"To all who seek peace I say tonight, you will always have a partner in the United States of America and in my administration. That’s why we’ve been working aggressively for our clear goal, two states living side by side in peace and security."

The memorial service had been postponed one week due to extremely heavy rains. The secular date of the assassination by a right-wing law student is Nov. 4.

President Shimon Peres in his address called on Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas to continue to work with Israel toward peace. Abbas said last week that he would not run for re-election in a vote he has called for late January. 

"(W)e both signed the Oslo accords, and I turn to you as a colleague and ask that you don’t let go," Peres implored.

Labor Party chairman Ehud Barak and opposition leader and Kadima Party chairwoman Tzipi Livni also addressed the gathering.

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