( AP ) - Prime Minister Ehud Olmert cautioned Monday against letting Israeli extremists repeat their hate-mongering of more than a decade ago.
Olmert's warning came after people booed during a moment of silence Sunday on the 12th anniversary of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's murder and showed posters of Israel's dovish president, Shimon Peres, in Arab headdress.
"We've been there before," Olmert told a business conference in Tel Aviv. "We remember those days 12 years ago, and I remember the atmosphere that was created in the street."
Olmert said the latest "hateful and intolerable" incidents recall the atmosphere preceding Rabin's assassination on Nov. 4, 1995 - but must not be allowed to continue.
"We won't let it happen again," he said.
An extremist group put up posters of Peres in Arab headdress, over the words "Peres, president of the Arabs," to mark the anniversary of Rabin's murder by a Jewish assassin opposed to his plan to cede land for peace with the Palestinians.
In the months before his death, Rabin was featured on nearly identical signs at demonstrations against his policies. Peres, a Nobel peace laureate, is known for his dovish views.
Later Sunday, when the announcer at a soccer game paid tribute to Rabin over the stadium sound system, hundreds of fans of the Beitar Jerusalem team erupted in loud boos. It was a public show of disrespect that would have been unthinkable not long ago.
The fans' behavior infuriated the game's TV commentator, Yoram Arbel, who fumed during the broadcast that the fans "should be ashamed of themselves."
Beitar Jerusalem's supporters have a reputation for ultranationalist politics and racism, and it remains one of the only clubs in Israeli soccer never to have fielded an Arab player.
Avi Luzon, head of Israel's soccer federation, acknowledged that a large number of fans booed Rabin.
"It's not just a handful. That's what's so appalling," Luzon said in an interview with Army Radio. "It was, I'm afraid, the majority of the crowd that was there."
Unwritten rules since the assassination have somewhat tamed Israel's fierce public debate over making peace with Palestinians. Even during the lead-up to Israel's pullout from Gaza in 2005, opponents of the withdrawal stopped short of the loaded language and imagery of the demonstrations against Rabin in the mid-1990s.
But Sunday's incidents suggested those rules might be unraveling.
"The extremist element of the right wing is returning to the streets, and to make it more tragic, it's returning on Nov. 4," wrote Nahum Barnea, a prominent columnist in Israeli's biggest paper, Yediot Ahronot.
Recent indications are that sympathy for Rabin's killer, Yigal Amir, is growing. Amir celebrated the circumcision ceremony of his new newborn son in his maximum-security prison. He was allowed to marry while in prison and to hold conjugal visits with his wife.
Israeli extremists and Amir's family launched a campaign to have him freed. A recent newspaper poll indicated that about a quarter of Israelis, including almost half of religiously observant Jews, think Amir should be pardoned in 2015 after serving 20 years.