Peres: I'm proud of Rabin's journey, but work not finished
Upper governmental echelons gather on Mount Herzl for state memorial ceremony marking 14 years since assassination of late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. President: Yitzhak's grandeur was in honesty of his leadership – in war and peace alike. There is no forgiveness for murderer, and we won't withdraw from our people's aspirations for peace in spirit of prophets' vision
"Yitzhak's grandeur was in the honesty of his leadership – in war and peace alike," said President Shimon Peres as he eulogized slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in the state ceremony on Mount Herzl marking 14 years since the statesman's assassination.
"At war, the path is clear: an attacked and threatened people is united as one person and defends itself. At peace, the path splits: a people aspiring towards peace, and those who disagree with his opinion and veer off. Yitzhak was asked to withstand both instances – uniting the people at war. Also under his leadership, divided in its opinions on the path to peace," said Peres.
"In both situations, Yitzhak looked bold-facedly at the truth," added Peres. "He did not seek false prestige. He did not hide facts. He did not lie and did not fold. He knew that military victory is not the purpose of war, but leverage for achieving the real goal. Not to succumb to external pressure, not to ignore the way the map is read from the outside."
Yitzhak knew that there are no wars without bloodshed, and there is no peace without an end to bloodshed," Peres added, dedicating a significant part of his speech to Rabin's political course in his last years, including the Oslo Accords.
"I am proud of what we achieved under Yitzhak's leadership, in our joint journey – even if the job is not yet complete. I am proud of the negotiations that were opened and created a Palestinian majority stance to move from terror to diplomacy. Without this, all the Palestinians would be Hamas."
"Those who disagreed with Yitzhak's path also admired his policies. Even his opposes cherished his personality," Peres said in sum.
"The tragedy of our people is that the messiah took long to come, and the killer was quick to kill. There is no redemption for a murderer, his shackles will not be removed and he will be eternally disgraced. And we will not retreat from our people's aspirations, as Yitzhak put it: For a secure peace, a just peace and a peace in the spirit of the vision of the prophets. Yitzhak had opened heavy gates, and the gates of social justice and the gates of peace remain open."
Rabin's grandson Michael lit the memorial candle and Chief Military Rabbi Rabbi Avichai Rontzki read Psalm 16. Rabin's son Yuval then said Kaddish.