At memorial, Peres says Rabin’s path is accepted as way to peace


JERUSALEM (JTA) — At a ceremony marking the 16th anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli President Shimon Peres said most Israelis accept Rabin’s stance on two states for two peoples.

Peres was among the speakers Wednesday at the official national memorial service at the Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem.

"The two states for two people solution is a necessary truth," Peres said at the ceremony. "It’s the Israeli government’s stand, which is supported by most Israeli citizens."

Also Wednesday, during a special Knesset session in memory of the slain prime minister, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin decried what he termed Jewish terrorism.

“Rabin’s assassination carries two messages on democracy: We must have zero tolerance for political violence, and at the same time, we must avoid demonization of political groups and minorities. We must avoid gross and negligent generalizations, as those who opposed Oslo faced after the murder,” read a draft of the speech released Tuesday, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch and opposition leader Tzipi Livni spoke at the memorial session.

During an official memorial ceremony Tuesday night at the President’s Residence, Peres honored Rabin and reflected on their relationship.  

"We will never forget your walking down the road of hate and incitement, along a landscape of violence and provocation. You did not panic. You did not retreat. You did not stop your march," Peres said.

"Your path, Yitzhak, the way of peace and security, is lit today by the light of millions of candles, by whose light we will continue to march. We gather here today not only to remember, but also to say that the battle is not over. It is not enough simply to remember; there is a need to continue and act in order that the great undertaking which you began will be able to advance a long way still."

Peres said it was no secret that he and Rabin had differences of opinion, "which caused both you and me no small amount of distress."

"Beneath that, however, we enjoyed a mutually shared vision, and that vision brought us far-reaching result and much satisfaction," the president said.

The annual gathering in memory of Rabin, held each year in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, where he was gunned down during a peace rally in November 1995, will take place Saturday night. 

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