JERUSALEM (JTA) — The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin "must not be forgiven or forgotten," Israeli President Shimon Peres said at a candlelighting ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of the tragedy.
On Tuesday afternoon, on the eve of the Hebrew date of the anniversary of the prime minister’s death, Peres spoke about the man with whom he was awarded the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize. Rabin family members, public figures, youth movement members and students attended the ceremony.
"We are holding a memorial evening because we must fight forgetfulness," Peres said. "Such forgetfulness is the enemy of man. It’s also puts democracy in danger."
Also Tuesday, Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak praised Rabin during a speech at a conference.
"Yitzhak Rabin was a real fighter and a man of peace," Barak said at a kibbutz in Shefayim, 15 miles north of Tel Aviv. "We have not forgotten him for a single moment, but we must all do more to make sure today’s youth know about Rabin and the influence he had on Israel."
A ceremony on Monday morning at the Rabin Center in Tel Aviv marked the coming anniversary.
"Yitzhak Rabin is not with us today, but his spirit and legacy continue to guide us, and with that his hope that there will be an equal, united and inventive society here," said the army’s chief of staff, Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.
A national memorial ceremony is scheduled for Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, where the prime minister was gunned down on Nov. 4, 1995 by Yigal Amir, for later in October.