The view from my veranda

Remembering Yitzhak Rabin – Current Viewpoint

Remembering Yitzhak Rabin
by Sheila Raviv
4th November 2003

The first time I saw that shy, boyish expression, head leaning to one side, emphasising his lop-sided smile, was in the press photographs as he walked beside Moshe Dayan and Uzi Narkiss toward the Western Wall, the Kotel, during the Six Day War of 1967. The last time I saw his lop-sided smile was as he gave me a gentle fatherly hug of concern when we met in the Rotunda in Washington just nine days before his death.

Yitzchak Rabin was a General who cared deeply about his troops; he was a handsome proud Israeli; he was impatient with politics and especially with politicians; he engendered love in leaders who were not accustomed to loving
politicians; he cared very deeply about the future of this country; he was not a left winger, not by a long chalk.

Yitzchak Rabin felt he had to try and bring peace to his beloved country and he was willing to force himself to talk to the man he despised above all others, Yassir Arafat. He was willing to enter talks to bring the much sought after
peace his country so yearned for, but he was not willing to accept peace at all cost.

Many a time I saw him outside the halls where grand dinners and honoured guests awaited his words of wisdom, little did they know that he so hated public speaking that he would grab a glass of “Dutch courage”, whisky, as he summoned
up the nerve to enter the hall.

My sorrow at his murder eight years ago is doubled by the distortion of his truth by those who would use him, even in his death, to further their own political theories. I miss the honesty of Yitschak Rabin who could be cold to
those he despised and a warm, giving human being to those he cared for.

I miss Yitzchak Rabin because his murder led to lost innocence in Israeli society.

May his soul rest in peace.