Today is the Memorial Day for the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Mr. Rabin was shot and killed 14 years ago after addressing a peace rally in Tel Aviv. Mr. Rabin largely orchestrated the peace deal with the late King Hussein of Jordan.
Although for much of his life Mr. Rabin was not so much a peace-maker – in his latter years he brought Israel close to a comprehensive peace plan – something that seemingly perished with him.
Israel will mark Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Day with various ceremonies to be held at schools, and some public places. The Knesset will assemble this afternoon in honor of him.
Israel's President Shimon Peres, longtime friend of Mr. Rabin, said last night that Israel will never abandon Rabin's goals and that the despicable murderer's bullets wounded the entire nation.
But for many in this country Mr. Peres's words don't actually hold true – and people are taking note. There have been calls from the political right and settler movements not to attend the various Rabin memorial ceremonies.
Flyers were actually handed out in Jerusalem schools in the attempt to convince pupils to not attend events. The reason behind this, according to the leaders, is that the memorial ceremonies are brainwashing Israel's next generation. One leader was quoted as saying that “Rabin brought disaster upon us”.
But it is not only Israelis who are seeing this in Israel, President Barak Obama is said to have prepared an address by video for the main State ceremony which will take place Saturday night. In it Obama's main purported message is to remember Rabin's heritage of working for Peace.
Dalia Rabin, the daughter of the late Prime Minister, has said that not enough soul-searching has been done in Israel to prevent a reoccurrence such as her fathers. She believes Israel is still plagued with the kind of violence that breeds hate. There is a national risk in taking the law into one's hands in such a brutal fashion as assassinations.
But perhaps the nation this year could chose to remember Mr. Rabin as the young man who risked his life along with other youths who secured various stretches of valleys that run up to Jerusalem in the States inception in 1948. Without his, and others action Jerusalem might not have become the capital of the Jewish state as it is today.
Middle East Correspondent