Have we learned nothing in the past 13 years? Dozens arrived at Jerusalem's Mt. Herzl Cemetery on Tuesday, to take part in the civilian memorial ceremony held for slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
The speeches heard over the gravestone all had a common thread, as those giving them wondered aloud whether or not Israel as a state had learned its lesson, or will the growing violence result in yet another political murder.
Former IDF Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak spoke of the growing violence within the far right: "Rabin wouldn’t have allowed for a reserve officer to have his arm broken and do nothing about it. This simply cannot happen, and it makes no difference whether it emanates from the Left, the Right or the middle.
"Today, the leaders are less at risk than the soldiers. I'm afraid that someday, someone will just pick up a weapon and shoot them; and anyone not fearing the same is naïve," he said.
Prof. Ze'ev Sternhell, who was lightly wounded last month after right-wing activists planted a pipe bomb on the walkway to his house, said that Rabin paid with his life for his beliefs, adding that the far right was trying to make people forget it.
"We have not forgotten, nor will we agree to hypocrisy and lies. We have not forgiven and future generations will not forgive either – not as long as those who hated Rabin fail to express true remorse and accept the man was killed for his (political) way."
'Writing on the wall'
Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eilezer warned that a political assassination was still possible in today's political climate: "The writing is once again on the wall, this time in bigger letters. The next political assassination is right around the corner," he said.
'Our commander, our teacher, our friend.' The memorial (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Following Lipkin-Shahak's remarks on far-right violence, Ben-Eilezer said that "those who cannot survive in the West Bank without the IDF's protection dare raise their hand against soldiers… you cannot imagine the hatred sown in the beds of the far-right, the bubbling animosity against the State of Israel, the Israeli democracy, the Knesset, the government and the people's selectmen and even against the IDF."
Defense Minister Ehud Barak chose to speak of Rabin's character: "He was our commander, our guide, our teacher and our friend. As the prime minister he boldly chose a road of historical responsibility and of peace. He was our captain. He knew where the winds were blowing and where to lead us.
Rabin's daughter, former Knesset Member Dalia Rabin Philosoph did not speak at the service, but told Ynet of her feelings in the 13th anniversary of the assassination: "The wounds still hurt, even after 13 years, but time is playing its part.
"Today, I mostly miss him. We do our best to preserve the values he taught and to make sure his memory is not distorted. We hope the State of Israel respects his memory."
Efrat Weiss contributed to this report