Clinton, Peretz Speak at Rabin Memorial Rally

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton told crowds gathered at the annual Rabin memorial rally to stop memorializing and continue Rabin's policies.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu , | updated: 10:11 PM

"There is enough of all this [expression of] missing," Clinton told participants of the 10th annual memorial at Rabin Square Saturday night. He said that if Yitzchak Rabin were present, he would tell them, "If you really think I lived a good life and if you think I made a noble sacrifice in death, for goodness take up my work and see it to the end."

Clinton hosted the signing of the Oslo Accords with the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chief Yassir Arafat on the White House lawn in September, 1993.

The crowd wildly applauded newly-elected Labor party chairman Amir Peretz who declared, "The way of Oslo is the way to peace."

Making his first major speech since his triumph over Shimon Peres Wednesday night, Peretz said the series of Oslo peace agreements, which Yitzchak Rabin pursued as Prime Minister, "lives in every corner and is our hope."

Peretz foresaw the days that "Arabs from Bet Hanoun [in northern Gaza] and Jews will play together" near the Negev city of Sderot, Peretz's home town. Scores of deadly rockets have been fired from Bet Hanoun at Israeli civilians in Sderot over the past few years. The last rocket landed near Sderot on Friday.

The crowd interrupted Peretz with applause when he said, "The land is full of violence. It is found among ourselves. We have not stopped the atmosphere of violence" which he said is caused by arresting Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Likud) told the crowd, "I see the signs and slogans, but this is not a political rally." Several politicians and public figures have criticized the annual memorial for the assassinated Prime Minister as being too political.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said "tens of thousands" participated in the Saturday night rally. Israel's Ynet news site quoted a police source as saying 70,000 participated. Rally organizers claimed that the number was more than double the later police figure.

Earlier in the evening, former American President Bill Clinton told the Saban Forum on United States-Israel Dialogue that he believes Rabin's policies still represent "our best chance for a comprehensive and lasting peace."

The conference and dinner, for which people paid up to $100,000 to attend, was held at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. Clinton told Israelis, "Do what Jews have done throughout history: Grieve, laugh, remember that God gives no guarantees, and get back to greening the desert of despair, one tree at a time."

In the framework of Rabin's Oslo Accords, Israel gave the PLO terrorist organization land, military autonomy, and permitted the issuance of tens of thousands of rifles to establish an Arab paramilitary police force which would protect Israeli civilians from terrorists.

In the ten years after the signing of the Oslo Accords, 1110 Israelis were murdered by Arab terrorists, far more than the ten years preceding. More than 10,000 Israelis were wounded.