Last updated: 12 November, 2011

Demonstrators condemn extremism in Israel on Rabin anniversary

Around 20,000 demonstrators gathered in Tel Aviv on Saturday on the anniversary of former premier Yitzhak Rabin’s murder to condemn a rise in far-right extremism in Israel, an AFP correspondent said.

“Yes to peace, no to violence,” read their placards, which also denounced the far-right settler movement.

Yossi Sarid, a former leftist MP and minister, in a speech condemned what he called a campaign by the extreme right to have a crime forgotten for which it has never asked forgiveness.”

Rabbis and politicians had incited the November 4, 1995 assassination of Rabin in Tel Aviv by a far-right Jew opposed to his efforts to advance a peace deal with the Palestinians, Sarid said.

The ex-prime minister is revered as a national hero, both for his career as Israeli army chief and for peace efforts in the 1990s that earned him a Nobel peace prize shared with Shimon Peres and late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

The agreements engineered by Rabin, Arafat, and Peres, who is now president of Israel, have largely been undone by the violence of the past decade.