Clinton speaks at Rabin memorial service

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Former US president Bill Clinton was the guest of honor in a memorial ceremony attended by some 200,000 Israelis in Tel Aviv to mark the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. The rally was delayed one week due to Clinton's schedule.

Clinton opened his speech with some words of respect to the deputy prime minister Shimon Peres, "My dear friend Shimon Peres, thank you for servicing the case of peace all of your life and being a partner and a leader to all of us".

Regarding Rabin, Clinton said, "I loved him very much, and I was in awe of his ability to move from being a soldier to being a peacemaker, a politician to a statesman".

Clinton said that it was a great honor for him to be at the ceremony with his wife, daughter and friends from America to stand in solidarity for the memory of Yitzhak Rabin. He said: "If he were here he would say, "There is enough of all this missing. If you really think I lived a good life, if you think I made a noble sacrifice in death, then for goodness sakes, take up my work and see it through to the end" and concluded his speech with the words in Hebrew — "Shalom Haver" (Goodbye my friend).

Later Clinton joined Peres and the rest of the politicians, most of whom were from Rabin's Cabinet and were with him on the same stage in the original peace rally for singing "The Song For Peace", the same song that they sang with Rabin that night.