Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yitzchak Rabin, 15 years later

Fifteen years ago (Hebrew date), Yitzchak Rabin z'l was assassinated.

I believe that a memorial service to acknowledge the man and his legacy is essential. He is, and always will be, an important figure in our history, be it for his role as a soldier, a peace maker, a Chief of Staff or a Prime Minister. Attempts to forget the man, even those pushed by his own party, should be frowned upon and rejected.

I think it's imperative however that the memorial of Rabin be devoid of politics. Far too often, Rabin's memorial is used by Israel's left as a stage to bash and incite against the Right and religious Jews. There's a reason why so many people feel that this day shouldn't be 'observed'. In it's current format, I'm one of them. I will take a few minutes over the next 24 hours to remember the man, and remember the horrific crime supposedly only committed by one man. But attend an official memorial? Nope - sorry, I don't need to be told 'I' killed Rabin because of my political leanings or the kippah on my head.

Rabin's death was a tragedy for the Jewish people. Yes I know Rabin was a part of many incidents we wish we could forget (The Altalena, being forced - his own words to the New York Times' William Safire, in '92 - into Oslo, or not having time, as his daughter said, to stop the process). But still, his murder was a horrific catastrophe. We should never have allowed ourselves to reach a point where there was such hatred brewing that a crime of this magnitude could have happened.

I would suggest that the Left uses this day (as it currently seems to be 'theirs') as a rallying call to Israel. A rallying call not for political agendas or anti-religious statements, but a rallying call to Am Yisrael to heed the dangers of internal strife (I will write a longer piece about this in the coming weeks). A rallying call to building bridges amongst ourselves and unifying our fractured nation.

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