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Rabin Memorial Draws Largest Crowd In Years

A record attendance at the Yitzhak Rabin candle-lighting memorial ceremony could in part be attributed President Rivlin’s dialogue initiative, which included Shira Banki’s Way, a group formed after the murder of Shira Banki at the 2015 Jerusalem Pride Parade.


The late Shira Banki who was stabbed at the 2015 Jerusalem Pride

There was a much larger attendance at the Ner Yitzhak candle-lighting memorial ceremony at the President’s Residence on Wednesday than there had been in recent years.

This could be attributed in part to an initiative of President Reuven Rivlin, who in June of this year brought together representatives of Shira Banki’s Way, the Rabin Center and the Gush Katif Center to engage in dialogue. The purpose was not for one ideological group to try to persuade the other, but to respect, learn to know and understand each other. Shira Banki was killed by a knife-wielding religious extremist during a gay pride parade.

The residents of Gush Katif were permanently evacuated from their homes.

Both Rivlin and Dalia Rabin, who heads the Rabin Center, referred to this at the ceremony marking the anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Rabin was murdered at the conclusion of a peace rally in Tel Aviv 22 years ago.

Rivlin and Dalia Rabin also emphasized the need to defend democracy from those who seek to destroy it, and each lamented the fragmentation of Israeli society, the wholeness of which can be restored only through the adherence to democratic values, they said.

Rabin, relating to this dialogue, said it had been a very difficult journey, but all three had persevered. “It is never too late to start a dialogue,” she said.

Read complete article in the Jerusalem Post.