Benny Gantz vows to defeat hatred at memorial rally for Yitzhak Rabin

JERUSALEM (JTA) — “The state of Israel will never surrender to hatred,” Benny Gantz told tens of thousands of Israelis who gathered to remember murdered prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

“The children of Israel will no longer grow up in a state some of whose leaders sanctify hatred,” Gantz also said during the annual rally Saturday night at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square. “I won’t let hatred win. You won’t let hatred win. Israel will defeat the haters. Israel will defeat the hatred.”

It was the 24th memorial held for Rabin, who was assassinated in the same public square, then called Zion Square, by extremist right-wing law student Yigal Amir.

The rally was held under the slogan: “Yes to peace, no to violence,” the same slogan held at the peace rally in 1995 when Rabin was killed.

“Rabin was murdered because of divisions, incitement and hate. Twenty-four years later, hatred has become a dangerous weapon again by boundless politicians,” Gantz also told the crowd.

Gantz, head of the centrist Blue and White party and currently tasked with forming a ruling government coalition, was the only politician invited to speak at the event, despite a request to speak from Amir Peretz, head of the Labor Party that Rabin headed at the time of his death.