Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein informed the organizers of this year’s rally in memory of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that he would not speak at the event.
"I thought that about half a century after the despicable murder we could overcome the political biases and convene a uniting memorial evening, in which we support together the formative values of Israeli society: a partnership of fate and destiny, mutual responsibility and adherence to peaceful ways even in times of disagreement," wrote Edelstein. “Unfortunately, it seems that the time is not yet ripe for this."
"As I understand that this year, too, certain elements are planning to paint the rally in bright political colors, I decided not to take part in it," explained the speaker. “I will say my official words of memorial in the Knesset, in the ceremony we hold there every year.”
The Darkenu organization in charge of the rally said in response, "Our decision to organize an unifying, inclusive, and shared memorial ceremony was met with exclusion, a distortion of the facts, and a rejection of our outstretched hand to none other than the Speaker of the Knesset.”
“We will work to hold a state rally marking the anniversary of Rabin's assassination, which will remind us of the responsibility of all of us to work for a politics free of incitement and violence. We are determined in our path to bridge, to connect and to allow the voice of the moderate majority to be heard. We did not stop when in the past year we got criticism from the left, and we will not stop now when the Knesset speaker prefers political considerations, distorts our intentions and turns us back empty-handed.
“The rally will be uniting rather than inciting, uniting and not dividing and, especially, not partisan or sectoral. We hope and pray for the arrival of a diverse, broad public, from all the tribes of Israel and the layers of Israeli society. This is our way."