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Bill Clinton Calls For Peace On 20th Anniversary Of Rabin's Assassination

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 1/11/2015 Lydia O'Connor
ATHENA IMAGE © Lior Mizrahi via Getty Images ATHENA IMAGE

In a speech marking the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, former U.S. President Bill Clinton used the opportunity to urge peace with Palestinians.

At a memorial ceremony Saturday night in Tel Aviv attended by more than 100,000 people, Clinton called Rabin's death at the hands of an Israeli nationalist a painful memory from his time in office.

“I came to love your prime minister,” he told the crowd, MSNBC reported. “The day he was killed was probably the worst day of my eight years as president.”

The Clinton administration worked closely with Rabin to implement the Oslo Accords in 1993 and 1995, which sought to resolve conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Now, Clinton said in his speech, it's up to the Israeli people to secure that peace.

“Rabin’s legacy in one way is clear and untouchable,” Clinton said, The Times of Israel reported. “He risked his life to create and defend Israel. He spent his life serving Israel to advance your values and your interests. And he gave his life so that you could live in peace.”

“What does it all amount to? Now that is up to you," Clinton said, later adding: "All of you now must decide when you leave here tonight ... how to finish the last chapter of his story.”

Rabin, Clinton said, did not want to see Israel "come to a democratic crossroads where it has to decide whether it is a Jewish state or a democratic state.”

In a prerecorded video aired at the rally, President Barack Obama made similar calls for peace.

"Peace is necessary because it is the only way to ensure true lasting security for Israelis and Palestinians," Obama said. 

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