Tzachi Hanegbi
Tzachi HanegbiMiri Tzahi/TPS

Minister of Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) will speak on Saturday night at the memorial ceremony for Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to be held at the Rabin Square in Tel Aviv.

Other speakers at the rally include opposition leader Tzipi Livni, Labor party chairman Avi Gabbay, and Yesh Atid party chairman MK Yair Lapid.

"Minister Tzachi Hanegbi responded positively to the invitation of the Darkenu movement to address the rally,” said Hanegbi’s office.

Polly Bronstein, CEO of the Darkenu movement which is organizing the rally, said, "This year the rally will stand against the rift and incitement in Israel and will call for a clean public political debate, especially now that we are about to start an election year.”

"We know that the period before the anniversary of the murder is a charged and emotional one, but the anniversary of the murder does not belong to a single political camp. The lessons of the murder must be shared by all parts of Israeli society, as well as the memory of Yitzhak Rabin as a person, a leader and an inseparable part of the history of the State of Israel. Therefore, delegates from the right, center and left will speak at the rally."

News of Hanegbi’s participation at the rally angered the leftist Meretz party, which issued a statement criticizing the organizers of the rally.

"Memory is not bought with money, and neither is peace. Those who sang the song of peace next to Yitzhak Rabin were removed from the memorial, while those who stood on the veranda and incited will be there,” said the party.

“Since the name of the host has not been made public, we hope it will not be Itamar Ben Gvir. He already has the symbol,” it added.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein recently informed the organizers of this year’s memorial rally that he would not speak at the event, citing its apparent political nature.

"I thought that about half a century after the despicable murder we could overcome the political biases and convene a uniting memorial evening, in which we support together the formative values ​​of Israeli society: a partnership of fate and destiny, mutual responsibility and adherence to peaceful ways even in times of disagreement," wrote Edelstein. “Unfortunately, it seems that the time is not yet ripe for this."

"As I understand that this year, too, certain elements are planning to paint the rally in bright political colors, I decided not to take part in it," explained Edelstein. “I will say my official words of memorial in the Knesset, in the ceremony we hold there every year.”