Gantz: Israel is more important than any leader

Tens of thousands of people gather at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv at Rabin Memorial Rally.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Gantz at the Rabin Memorial Rally
Gantz at the Rabin Memorial Rally
Tomer Neuberg/TPS

Blue and White chairman MK Benny Gantz delivered the keynote speech at the Rabin Memorial Rally on Saturday night at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv.

"Friends, 24 years ago, at the horrendous culmination of an incitement campaign lacking all boundaries by extremists, Yitzhak Rabin went down the stairs behind me, and a vile killer - Yigal Amir - shot three bullets in his back for one purpose - to kill the prime minister.

"Yitzhak Rabin was murdered due to factionalism. Yitzhak Rabin was murdered due to incitement. Yitzhak Rabin was murdered due to hatred.

"Recent years have presented us with an ugly and coarse look. From those who ridicule visitors to the tombs of the righteous and those who praise the perpetrators of price tag attacks - to those who see child killers as their national heroes, and to those who in recent days are once again making shocking hateful calls.

"It is the duty of the leaders of the right, center, and left to put an end to those with uninhibited tongues - and their words feed the drum of the bullets and await the next killer waiting for his hour.

"Incitement is not freedom of speech, and calling for harm to another person requires silencing. This is a moral, legal and moral duty!

"As Prime Minister of Israel, I will strive and work to make this rally an official state rally - a joint rally for all of Iraeli society.

"It is our duty to balance the square so that all streams will find their place in it and feel comfortable coming and mourning the horrible murder. State leaders must bravely and honestly stand up and commit themselves not to give a hand in creating an atmosphere of incitement and devastating and murderous divisions.

"Next year, as Prime Minister of Israel, I pledge to invite the head of the opposition and stand here together. Even if we may disagree, we will remain united and united in a message of hope and internal reconciliation.

"Minutes before he was murdered, Yitzhak Rabin said the sentence that echoes in the hearts of all whom the spirit of man and human character are part of him: 'Violence is the erosion of the foundation of democracy. It must be condemned, denounced and isolated. There may be controversy - but a decision will be made in democratic elections.'"

Regarding Israel's security, he added: "In the government I will form, we will bring back the deterrence - with every tool at our disposal... We will bring back the deterrence and we will know how to fight, but we will also know how to use it and bring back hope. Just like Yitzhak.

"We will not hesitate to hit our enemies in the north and south, from far and near, with an iron hand. But that the same time we will not hesitate to shake the hands of Arab leaders who decide to see us as friends and partners.

"Peace is no longer only an Israeli interest, it is the mutual interest of many countries around us... The path ahead of us will be difficult and have many obstacles. We will have disagreements and make mistakes.

"I will listen to you and respect your opinions. We won't always agree on the path, but strong leadership is not afraid of criticism, is not afraid of dialogue, and does not encourage flattery. In our society, anyone who threatens the murder the IDF Chief of Staff will be condemned, brought to court, and the group he belongs to will never receive legitimacy from the government."




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