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Achimeir: 'Let Bibi Return Rabin to the People'

Yaakov Achimeir calls to “return Rabin to the people” by depoliticizing memorial events for the slain Prime Minister.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 10/28/2009, 10:33 PM / Last Update: 10/29/2009, 6:57 AM

Flash 90

As Israel marks 14 years since the murder of former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, veteran publicist and journalist Yaakov Achimeir is calling for change. The time has come to “return Rabin to the people” by expanding the events in his honor to include all segments of the population, he believes.

Rabin's family has a unique opportunity to unify Israelis around the former prime minister's memory, Achimeir told Arutz Sheva. They could do so by inviting Rabin's political rival in the 1990s, current Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, to speak at the central memorial rally in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv.

'Everyone tells me I'm crazy'
The idea of inviting Netanyahu to eulogize his former rival has been met with shock, Achimeir says. "Everyone tells me I'm crazy,” he admits, “and that if Netanyahu does attend the memorial rally for Rabin, he'll be booed.”

However, despite the criticism, he remains confident. “I have no doubt that if Netanyahu were to attend the rally, he would find the right words to say, and the character of the rally would be changed. New segments of society – such as the political Right – would begin attending the Rabin Square rally.”

Netanyahu would be a particularly appropriate choice for speaker at the rally due to the recent shift in his own political views, Achimeir argues. “Mr. Netanyahu has changed his opinions, and his views are now very close to those of Yitzchak Rabin. He, too, supports the principle of 'two states for two peoples,'” he notes.

The time has come for the annual ceremonies in Rabin's memory to bring unity, not division, to Israel, Achimeir says. “In the end, Rabin was prime minister for all of us,” he concludes.