Controversy Over Rabin Memorial

There’s something of a tug-of-war developing over the annual anniversary rally for assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv on Saturday night for the event, 14 years and a week after he was killed (it was delayed because of the rain last Saturday).

Attended by politicians from three of the five biggest Knesset factions, Labor, Kadima, and Likud, it was seen by some as the coming-of-age of an event that was once a show of strength of the traditional peace camp. Likud lawmaker and education minister Gideon Saar declared from the podium that rightists have been “pushed out of the mourning tent for too long” and said that the time has come for everybody to mourn Rabin together.

Saar sees the county, and the event, as nationalizing Rabin’s memory, some see this as a cop out. Voices from the left are claiming that making the rally less political may make it more inclusive, but say that it’s coming at a cost of Rabin’s legacy.

The veteran peace activist Uri Avnery, who passed messages between Rabin and Yasser Arafat before contacts were out in the open, wrote ahead of the rally that Rabin will “turn in his grave.”

He wrote: “The main speakers will be two of the gravediggers of the Oslo agreement, Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak, as well as Tzipi Livni and Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, who belonged to the forces that created the climate for the murder.”

Avnery’s closing line was: “Will I be there? Not me, thank you very much.”

Unlike Avnery Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy went along and was deeply unimpressed. He penned this highly critical article, in which he asked:

Ynet published a similarly biting piece about the rally by Ziv Lenchner, in which he writes that:

Tagged as:

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Controversy Over Rabin Memorial

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close
Close