Israel’s president: Rabin assassin will not go free on my watch

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said that Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin will not be freed from jail on his watch.

“As long as I am president of Israel, his murderer will not be freed,” Rivlin said of Yigal Amir, a right-wing nationalist who has been jailed since he murdered the prime minister 20 years ago at a peace rally in Tel Aviv. “Curse my hand if it should ever sign a pardon for that evil man.

“We must ensure that the day upon which we remember Rabin’s murder will be a day belonging to all Israel; all its camps, all its sectors, a day of self-examination for the Israeli people, a time of self-examination for Israeli democracy,” he said Sunday evening during the annual memorial ceremony at the president’s residence in Jerusalem.

Members of the Rabin family attended the event, the first in a week of commemorations of the fallen prime minister. Students from the Yitzhak Rabin School in Ashdod helped Rivlin light a memorial candle.

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“Twenty years since the murder, and we must ask ourselves: Did we do enough to repair the cracks opened by the murderer?” Rivlin asked. “Are we doing enough to imprint into the consciousness of this nation, for generations to come, again and again, the destructive potential of political violence?”

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