The view from my veranda

18 years Yitzchak Rabin


14th October 2013

Remembering a Prime Minister and praying for the future

It is 18 years since an Israeli Prime Minister was assassinated by a Jewish extremist sending the entire country into a tail spin of emotions.

Did Israeli leaders lose the quest for peace through fear of the consequences? No. Unequivocally no. We still search for peace, we still offer peace, we still desire and prepare for peace but our neighbours believe that the killing of a Prime Minister who wanted peace revealed our Achilles heel and we will give them whatever they wish expecting nothing in return. Our strength is in our determination for a better life for our grandchildren and the day we give up that determination we lose our battle.

I loved and admired Yitzchak Rabin. He was a hero, a soldier, a leader and nothing whatsoever like the revised version that the far left try to impose upon us. Yitzchak Rabin was a proud Israeli who cared first and foremost about the security of this wonderful country and put his life on the line for us many times, leading his troops to phenomenal victories and giving us, the world, the most famous photograph of Israel’s history as he walked through the Lion’s Gate toward the Western Wall in June 1967.

Last night was the Hebrew anniversary of his death and the traditional gathering in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, took place at the site of his assassination after singing Shir l’Shalom smaller each year but still strong.

18 years. 18 years have passed, 18 years since we lost a hero, 18 years in which the left re-wrote his history, 18 years since Israel lost her innocence.

This is what I wrote in my Shabbat Shalom letter three years ago

Incredibly on November 4th it will be 15 years since Yitzchak Rabin’s assassination. The Hebrew date just passed with a large gathering in his memory but for me it is the dreadful date of the 4th of November that I remember.
Just ten days prior we stood listening to him speak before a crowded Rotunda, the Hall linking the Senate and the House, as we celebrated the opening of the United States Jerusalem 3,000 celebrations. The day was especially historic since the previous day, as my husband sat in the gallery, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem!
Just ten days prior to his death I received my last hug from this shy, exceptional man who preferred his “wounded soldier” citizen to the room full of politicians.
Just ten days prior to his death when Israel felt invincible from without and within.
Just ten days before a Jew raised his gun and took away not only a Prime Minister but our innocence and our invincibility.
I find it odd that the left have made him their symbol, although he was far from left-wing; the press has chosen him as their idol although he would have shown them his feet of clay, and the right have vilified him for deeds he never did.
Yitzchak Rabin, son of Rosa Cohen, was the archetypal soldier; Israeli; Sabra; hero; man, and I miss his shy disposition and humility horribly.
May his soul rest in peace, his memory be preserved and his prayer for a safe and secure Israel be fulfilled.

As the Knesset opened its Winter Session today, the Prime Minister spoke eloquently and the Arab Members of Knesset heckled him unashamedly about their lack of freedom. Life goes on, Prime Ministers come and go and our neighbours still hate us. It takes great courage to forge a relationship that can lead to a tenable future, courage and willingness to face disparagement.

May his soul rest in peace, his desires for this amazing country be fulfilled and his memory be honoured without revision as the incredible man he was. It was his pride in Israel and his honesty that drew world leaders to love him, a rare and beautiful thing in the world of politics and probably the most important aspect of policy toward Israel.

With love