Tens of thousands of Israelis packed into Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on Saturday night to commemorate the 24th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Blue and White party chairman Benny Gantz, currently working to form a government coalition before his 30-day deadline is up, was the keynote speaker at the event, at which the slogan echoed that of 24 years prior – “Yes to peace, no to violence.”
“The state of Israel will never surrender to hatred,” Gantz promised. Then, taking a shot at some of his competitors – albeit unnamed, he went on, “The children of Israel will no longer grow up in a state some of whose leaders sanctify hatred. I won’t let hatred win. You won’t let hatred win. Israel will defeat the haters. Israel will defeat the hatred.”
“Twenty-four years, Yitzhak Rabin is no longer with us. But incitement raises its ugly head . . . and hatred has again become a dangerous weapon in the hands of politicians without limits.”
Gantz also said, however, that incitement and hate were not limited to any one demographic sector or political group, and that hate was also being aimed at the religious sector in Israel.
In addition, Gantz vowed to “restore deterrence,” in the face of rocket fire from Gaza, saying “we will know how to fight but we will also know how to utilize that deterrence and how to restore hope. Just as Yitzhak Rabin once did.”