Israel will mark on Sunday the 20th anniversary of the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin with a series of commemorative events that will continue throughout the week.
The first of the week's events, a ceremony titled "Ner Yitzhak" ("Candle for Yitzhak"), will be held at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on Sunday night.
At the same time, a ceremony organized by the national youth groups to mark the 20th anniversary will be held at the Yitzhak Rabin Center in Tel Aviv, attended by Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Dalia Rabin, the late prime minister's daughter, who also serves as the chairwoman of the Yitzhak Rabin Center, as well as representatives of student unions and youth movements.
The Marganit Tower in the Kirya IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv will be lit up in red on Sunday night, as it was twenty years ago during the seven days after the assassination. The tower will remain lit up until November 4, the date of the murder according to the Christian calendar. In addition, the Rabin Center itself will be lit up in red.
On Sunday, the Dror Israel and HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed youth movements set up thirty 'yizkor' (remembrance) tents throughout the country. An exhibition on violence and the incitement that preceded the assassination will be displayed in the tents during the day, while visitors to the tents in the evenings could view plays and participate in lectures on democracy.
On Wednesday, the main 'yizkor' tent will be erected in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv and will remain there until Saturday.
Yedioth Ahronoth's photo exhibition, titled "Three Shots that Changed the Country," will be displayed until November 7 at the lobby of Habima Theater in Tel Aviv. The exhibition, the first of its kind, presents dramatic and rare photographs documenting the incitement that preceded the murder, the huge security failure, the events of the night of the murder and the grief that swept over the country. Entrance to the exhibition is free.
On Monday, the state memorial ceremony for Rabin will be held at Mount Herzl, attended by President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein. Afterwards, the Knesset will hold a special session to mark the twentieth anniversary, while the education system will mark the event with ceremonies and classes on the meaning of political murder and the importance of tolerance.
"Especially now, in these times of intolerance and incitement, the message stemming from Rabin's assassination is as relevant as ever: 'No violence – ever,'" wrote Education Minister Bennett in a letter he sent to schools across the country. "A person's beliefs and way of life must not put their life in danger. This is the essence of a Jewish, democratic regime."
Also on Monday, youth group HaNoar HaOved VeHalomed will launch a campaign titled 'Torches for Yitzhak.' Teens will stand at twenty major intersections around the country alongside representatives of different groups - Jews, Arabs and Druze – waving signs bearing messages of peace and democracy. The main signs will bear Rabin's statement at the rally that preceded his assassination: "Violence erodes the basis of Israeli democracy."
Finally, the main rally commemorating the assassination will take place on Saturday night at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. President Rivlin will open the ceremony, followed by former US President Bill Clinton, who was president of the United States when the assassination took place, and a close friend of Rabin.
The organizers of the rally - the "Remembering the Murder. Fighting for Democracy" coalition, led by the Zionist youth movements, civil society organizations and the Yitzhak Rabin Center - explained that in light of recent events "the purpose of the rally is to transform the commemoration of the assassination into a symbol and a warning sign in the struggle for democracy and building a powerful civil society to fight for democracy."