"Goodbye, my older brother, prophet of peace. We shall continue to bear this great peace, near and far, as you sought during your lifetime, as you charge us with your death."
(Shimon Peres in his eulogy)
"Yitzhak Rabin was my partner and my friend. I admired him, and I loved him very much. Because words cannot express my true feelings let me just say shalom, chaver -- goodbye, friend."
"He was a man of courage, a man of vison. ... As long a I live, I'll be proud to have known him, as a brother and as a friend, and as a man, and the relationship of friendship that we had is something unique and I am proud of that."
(King Hussein of Jordan)
On November 4, 1995, in Tel Aviv a peace rally was held under the slogan "Yes to Peace, No to Violence".
Then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said in his last speech:
"In coming here today, you demonstrate, together with many others who did not come, that the people truly desire peace and oppose violence. Violence erodes the basis of Israeli democracy. ... This is not the way of the State of Israel. In a democracy there can be differences, but the final decision will be taken in democratic elections. ...
Without partners for peace, there can be no peace. ...
This rally must send a message to the Israeli people, to the Jewish people around the world, to the many people in the Arab world, and indeed to the entire world, that the Israeli people want peace, support peace. For this, I thank you."
Ninety minutes after Rabin finished this speech, at 9:49 pm, he was assassinated by a Jewish right-wing extremist.
On 4th November 2000 another peace rally took place in Tel Aviv. A hundred and fifty thousand people came to remember Yitzhak Rabin, to take a stand against violence and to show their support for peace.
We invite you to reflect on our memorial site and to participate in the forum
Voices from the Heart
In his military and political career Yitzhak Rabin was very determined and self-confident. After a long war-and-combat-dialogue, Rabin started a dialogue of truth and peace with his former enemies.
Shimon Peres said about him:
"... For you were blessed with the wisdom of all-encompassing vision, and with the capacity to preserve even the smallest of details. You matured, and your capacity matured with you. And it withstood the test by fire, and by peace."
On December 10, 1994, Prime Minister Rabin, Minister Shimon Peres and Chairman Yasser Arafat were honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize.
In his acceptance speech Rabin said:
"Hundreds of cemeteries in our part of the world, in the Middle East - in our home in Israel, but also in Egypt, in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon. ...
Tonight, I wish to pay tribute to each and every one of them, for this important prize is theirs.
In his speech Rabin quoted Yehuda Amichai's poem "God takes pity on kindergartners":
"God takes pity on kindergartners,
Less so on the schoolchildren,
And will no longer pity their elders,
Leaving them to their own,
And sometimes they will have to crawl on all fours,
Through the burning sand,
To reach the casualty station,
And Rabin continued:
- "For decades, God has not taken pity on the kindergartners in the Middle East, or the schoolchildren, or their elders.
- Their has been no pity in the Middle East for generations.
- I was a young man who has grown fully in years. And of all the memories I have stored up in my seventy-two years, I now recall all the hopes.
- There is only one radical means for sanctifying human life.
- The one radical solution is a real peace.
- Yet this is not the whole picture. To preserve the sanctity of life, we must sometimes risk it. Sometimes there is no other way to defend our citizens than to fight for their lives, for their safety and freedom. This is the creed of every democratic state.
- For many years ahead - even if wars come to an end, after peace comes to our land - these words will remain a pillar of fire which goes before our camp, a guiding light for our people. And we take pride in that."
In the Shloshim Memorial Ceremony on 5th December 1995 Prime Minister Shimon Peres said:
"You knew that in the wisdom of peace there is no replacement for speaking with each other, and that the decision is a painful one. It alters the order of priorities. You knew that peace is a matter of choice, and a nation really chooses peace only when it decides to pay the price."