Photo: Motti Kimchi
Rabin Square, 2015
Photo: Motti Kimchi

Rabin memorial rally to double as pro-democracy protest

The Zionist Union party, which is funding the rally this year, had decided to make it into a protest against anti-democracy actions in Israel; the opposition party volunteered to host the party after it was announced that insufficient funds would lead to the first year of no rally being held.

Opposition Leader MK Isaac Herzog and MK Tzipi Livni, the two leading figures in the Zionist Union party, have decided to turn the annual rally commemorating the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 into a protest against government actions that harm Israeli democracy.



"There's a war for (our) home here, for democracy. Anyone who thinks the situation is despairing should come to the square," said Livni, referring to Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, where the late PM was assassinated and in which the annual demonstrations take place.


She continued, "When we understood there were funding problems we in the Zionist Union decided to enlist and turn it into a pro-democracy event. It's our chance to fight for the home that this government is ruining. We are this Saturday giving those who have despaired the opportunity to step outside the home, be with people who feel like them and protest. This isn't between us and Netanyahu, the whole of the public should step up and say, 'enough, enough, enough."


Last year's rally at Rabin Square. (Photo: Tomerico)
Last year's rally at Rabin Square. (Photo: Tomerico)


Zionist Union party leader Isaac Herzog said of the upcoming rally, "I call to all those who are worried of the path the state is walking, of it's changing for the worse, from all parts of the public – to come to the square in order to unite with the memory of Yitzhak Rabin, may he rest in peace, and unite in the struggle and in a sharp protest against violence, incitement, division, and attacks within our midst, and for the protection of democracy and the fortification of the rule of law. Come and do not despair. Come and influence."


On Tuesday, the Tel Aviv Municipal Authority approved the Zionist Union's permit request, giving the rally an official green light.  


The main assembly in memory of Rabin was almost not about to take place this year, for the first time in the 21 years since he was fatally shot by Yigal Amir following a peace rally. Organizers had announced on Sunday that the ceremony in Rabin Sq. would be canceled this year, due to a lack of funding and sponsors.


After hearing of the cancelation, though, Leader of the Opposition Isaac Herzog came out with a statement of his own, saying the Labor Party, which he heads, will take on the memorial.


Itay Blumental contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 11.01.16, 18:00
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