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Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Day

Yom Hazikaron leYitshak Rabin

Memorial Day for the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is a national day of remembrance established by the Knesset in 1997. It is commemorated every year on the 12th of (the Hebrew month of) Cheshvan.

Yitzhak Rabin was the Commander-in-Chief of the Israel Defense Forces during the Six Days War. He was also Defense Minister, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.

On the 4th of November 1995, a Saturday evening after Shabbat, Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated at the end of a rally in support of the Oslo Accords (1993/1995), at Kings of Israel Square in Tel Aviv (today named Rabin Square).

Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish extremist named Yigal Amir in 1967, shocking Israeli society. Thousands of people, from all over the political spectrum, marched in the streets and lit candles. In the days and months that followed, a public demand was made to commemorate his murder on an annual base.

Rabin's funeral, held on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, gathered leaders from all around the world (USA, Egypt, Jordan, Australia, etc.).

Two years later, in 1997, a law was adopted by the Knesset to commemorate Yitzhak Rabin's assassination. Memorial Day is celebrated in state-official ceremonies on Mount Herzl, at Rabin Square, and throughout Israel. State flags are lowered to half-mast in all state institutions.

You can see in the following YouTube video the official announcement of Yitzhak Rabin's death an hour and a half after the shots. You can also see the atmosphere in the streets at that same moment. This is another live announcement on TV.

Rabin's assassination deeply impacted Israeli society, especially the political scene, and its consequences are still felt today.

"Violence erodes the basis of Israeli democracy. It must be condemned and isolated. This is not the way of the State of Israel"

Words from Yitzhak Rabin's last speech, on November 4, 1995

His granddaughter said "He never knew it was one of his people who shot him in the back"*.

The Song of Peace (composed by Yair Rosenblum) was found in his pocket after his death.




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