Some 100 politicians, friends and family gathered at Yitzhak Rabin's grave on Mount Herzl Friday to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the late president's assassination.
"He is remembered much more than some would want him to be," Rabin's sister, Rachel Yaakov said after the ceremony. "I feel it everywhere. People get emotional when they recognize me; they tell me stories that haven't heard before."
But despite the public's outpour of remembrance, Yaakov claimed that some politicians are trying to sweep her brother's assassination under the rug.
Rachel Yaakov with Rabin's daugther on Friday (Photo: Haim Tzah)
"The political establishment is trying to cover up the murder," she said. "This was a political murder that didn't come out of nowhere. It was (a result of) directed and organized incitement. It wasn't casual."
When asked to address Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Yaakov said that he has yet to voice regret over his presence at rallies during which extremists called for Rabin's death.
"To this day, the prime minister hasn't apologized or expressed regret for standing on the balcony at Zion Square," Yaakov said, referring to one of the demonstrations.
'Price tag acts – extension of Rabin's murder'
The bereaved sister continued to criticize Israel's leadership, claiming that "it has no interest in remembering (Rabin). The current political establishment wants to obscure his character and not talk about the assassination. It was a murder of a prime minister, something that the State of Israel cannot forget."
Friends, family gather for ceremony (Photo: Haim Tzah)
Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin, who worked with Rabin at the Prime Minister's Office, said during Friday's ceremony that the assassination continues to reverberate within the Israeli public to this day.
"Something has torn deep within the Israeli society," she said. "We can see in the 'price tag' acts; they are an extension of the murder. Today's leadership is hollow and cannot stop it. I miss Yitzhak and the way he projected both extraordinary leadership and an inclusive socio-political plan."
MK Isaac Herzog (Labor) chose to evoke Rabin's legacy to slam the current administration.
"Lately, while we witness the endless babble that is all talk and no action, I think about Yitzhak Rabin, who led Israel by means of social and political doing," he said.
"Today we miss the honesty of his leadership more than anything. Rabin never hid what needs to be done from the public," he added.
Peres at Rabin memorial (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Later Friday, President Shimon Peres laid a wreath at the Rabin memorial in Tel Aviv.
"The cowardly murderer broke the Ten Commandments and we shall never forget that. Yitzhak will forever be remembered as a military leader who brought his people the greatest victory we have known and as a statesman who paved the way to peace," Peres said.
The traditional commemoration rally that was scheduled to be held at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Saturday night was postponed until further notice.
Ronen Medzini contributed to the report
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