Thousands pack square to commemorate Rabin

first_imgTEL AVIV, Israel – Tens of thousands of Israelis packed the Tel Aviv square where Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated 10 years ago to mourn the former prime minister and express hope that his memory would spur new peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Rabin’s killing by an ultranationalist Jew opposed to the premier’s peace efforts with the Palestinians stunned the country, revealing the depths of Israel’s internal conflicts and badly damaging chances for peace. “I loved him very much, and I was in awe of his ability to move from being a soldier to being a peacemaker, a politician to a statesman,” said former President Bill Clinton, who forged a deep bond with the Israeli leader as they sought to broker Mideast peace. “If he were here, he would say, ‘There is enough of all this missing. If you really think I lived a good life, if you think I made a noble sacrifice in death, then for goodness sakes take up my work and see it through to the end,”‘ Clinton said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Clinton ended his speech by saying “Shalom Haver,” Hebrew for “Goodbye, friend,” the same words he used to bid farewell to Rabin at the Israeli leader’s funeral. Security at the rally Saturday was tight, with 1,500 police and security personnel deployed out of fear that Palestinians or right-wing Jews would attack, police said. There were no reports of violence or arrests. Mourners sang songs of peace, held candles and waved Israeli flags as they remembered Rabin as a strong leader who loved his people and made the ultimate sacrifice for peace. Images of Rabin, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for signing the Oslo interim peace accords with the Palestinians, played on a huge television screen towering over the square where Rabin addressed a peace rally a decade ago, minutes before he was killed. “I stood here with him exactly 10 years ago. I was able to see what he saw, you wonderful people, you young people jumped into that pool there, cheering ‘Long live peace, long live Yitzhak.’ He was moved to the depths of his soul by that love and support,” said Vice Premier Shimon Peres, who shared the Nobel Prize with Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more