The Coalition Declaration
“The Torah of Israel and the prophets of Israel laid the foundations and cornerstone of humanitarian and egalitarian views which influenced the entire world – when the Bible determined “love the stranger,” it meant all strangers, not only converts. Rabbi Akiva said, “beloved is the person created in the image,” meaning all people, not only Jewish people. The Halakha for all time, determined by the Sanhedrin of Israel with “not in heaven” created the basis for free deliberation and persuasion between people. Rabbi Joshua ben Hananiah’s determination “follow the majority” ruled that the decision of the majority rules – though it is subject to general principles of morality.
The Declaration of Independence, read to the nation and the world here in Tel Aviv 64 years ago demanded “complete equality of rights irrespective of religion, race or sex,” and its vitality, foundations and core were nourished by the vision of the Prophets of Israel. We come here tonight to say that the murder of Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Yitzhak Rabin z”l can turn into the murder of this deep living Torah which is and was the basic agreement between us to renew the life of Jewish people in its land.
Therefore, we have gathered here on this night, all parts of Israeli society, to determine and agree between us that these mitzvot are not bigger than us, and not distant, neither in the heavens nor across the ocean – but rather very close to us, in our speech and in our hearts, to agree upon them, to fulfill them, to do them and to bring them into being here in the land of our fathers. May it be so.“
- From the concluding remarks of the 17th memorial rally
Over a century ago, the leaders of the Zionist movement, the halutzim and halutzot, led the people returning to its homeland to establish a country, in continuation of the legacy of the forefathers and the prophets of Israel. In the Israeli Declaration of Independence, they declared that the country would be founded on the principles of liberty, equality and justice: “The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.”
At the 17th annual commemorative rally of the assassination of Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, we closed the event with an appeal to turn the terrible murder into the renewal of our social contract. We, therefore, commit ourselves to work tirelessly to forge and strengthen the young Israeli democracy, and to stand at her guard.
On the 19th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, we are coming out again with the joint appeal to all citizens of the State of Israel to accept the burden of Israeli democracy, under all circumstances and situations. We will remember the tragic incitement. We will heavily admonish and denounce, without fear, any incident of incitement or racism that stand opposed to the spirit and essence of the human, Jewish and democratic way of life.
Therefore, we the undersigned hereby call on all Bnei Yisrael and all parts of Israeli society to undertake our generations’ mission, with the understanding that Israel faces difficult historic and fateful decisions. These decisions can only be made through the democratic process and moral values. We seek to hold up the assassination of Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin as a warning sign to Israeli society as we grapple with the decisions that are knocking at our door, and to commit that all disputes be decided through the democratic process.