Israel’s “solidarity” remains “the foundation of its success,” declared Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on the anniversary of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination.

By: United with Israel Staff

The Knesset on Sunday held a special session marking the 23rd anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, during which Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein highlighted the significance of national unity.

“We commemorate this day to remember just how destructive brotherly hostility can be, how terrible the intensity of blind fanaticism and devotion can be. We safeguard the memory of this day to serve as a reminder that at the end of every slippery slope lies the abyss,” he stated.

Edelstein also lauded Rabin’s dedication to Israel. “Yitzhak Rabin spent the last years of his life trying to steer the ship of Israel to the shores of peace,” he said.

Edelstein noted that he “was of the opinion then, and I am of the opinion today as well, that his strategy was wrong, that the quiet shores that he envisioned were just an illusion, and in their stead, a tremendous and perilous storm awaits us. Back then, I maintained, and still maintain to this very day, that the Oslo Accords were destined to fail because our enemies never wanted and never intended to end the conflict. However, I thought then, and I am certain of this to this day, that the lack of an ideological consensus should not serve as an excuse for violence.”

“There is no problem with our having harsh and heated disputes, those that descend to the foundation of existence. On the contrary: After all, there is no family without disagreements, and there is no such thing as a democracy that exists without each one of its players being certain of knowing a superior way to success. However, in order to continue being a democracy – we must continue being a family. We must ascertain that political rivalry does not boil over into a civil war; that we are capable of identifying the good intentions of people who do not think like we do, even if the results of their actions seem disastrous to us,” he intoned.

“Twenty-three years ago, a despicable and contemptible person wanted to break up our family by exerting force, resorting to violence. We will not allow this to happen. Each and every year, without getting fed up and bored, we shall underscore that the solidarity of the nation is the foundation for its success,” he concluded.

‘One Past and One Destiny Unite Us All’

Prime Minister Netanyahu called Rabin’s murder a “national trauma for the state of Israel and a historic trauma for the people of Israel.”

“One past and one destiny unite us all, and nothing justifies violence,” Netanyahu told the Knesset plenum.

In words of praise for Rabin, a former political opponent, Netanyahu said that “Rabin worked, from his point of view, for the benefit of the state of Israel, and so have I and my colleagues, worked according to our worldview. I said Rabin was wrong, and I made it a point to stress that he is not a traitor. On the contrary, he is a Zionist patriot.”