A ceremony marking the 17th anniversary of the murder of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin under the banner "A Candle for Yitzhak" was held at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on Thursday.
"Yitzhak's absence is more noticeable that ever," President Shimon Peres said. "There are new obstacles, the road is longer but it's still the only way. The only way that will guarantee a strong democratic Jewish state living in peace with its neighbors for generations to come," he said.
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"Seventeen years have passed and Yitzhak's memory is stronger than ever. A Candle for Yitzhak is not just a memorial ceremony, it's a promise. A promise to keep Israel democratic, with a Jewish majority, a thriving economy and a just society," Peres said.
Peres lights a candle for Rabin (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
The president also recalled the night of November 4, 1995 when Rabin was assassinated after a peace rally in Tel Aviv. "I remember Yitzhak's peaceful face on the bed. The last kiss over his forehead. The feeling of emptiness. The anger. The Helplessness. The loss."
During the ceremony, Rabin's grandson Yonatan Ben-Artzi accused Knesset members for undermining democracy with a line of bills.
"Seventeen years ago, Israeli democracy was almost murdered here. You would expect everyone to draw their lessons but that's not been the case."
Ben Artzi said that Israeli legislators have tried to "cancel the separation of powers, to trample over minorities, to silence the media and cripple the Supreme Court."
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