I can still remember sitting glued to my television set in shock on Saturday night, November 4, 1995. It was one of those pivotal moments when everything changed. After having witnessed television reports of the largest peace rally in Israeli history, we suddenly saw the screen fill with news of the assassination of our prime minister. Yitzhak Rabin (1922 – 1995), one of our country’s greatest generals and statesmen, had fallen victim to the bullet of a right-wing Israeli radical.
How could it be that an Israeli leader working for peace would be killed for the ideas in which he believed?
The disturbing picture accompanying this post is graffiti spray-painted this week on the walls of the home of Hagit Ofran, the “Settlement Watch” director of the Peace Now organization. The text translates as “Ofran, Rabin is waiting for you.”
According to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, “price tag” acts are the biggest threat to the Zionist vision – greater than Arab terror or even the Iranian threat. “These villainous criminals, who harmed houses of prayer, fields, homes and property belonging to Palestinians, are Jewish, and this is ‘Jewish terrorism,’ that should be called nothing else,” he stated in a special Knesset session held in Rabin’s memory.
Rivlin also warned against incitement directed at all Israeli settlers due to “negligent generalizations.”
According to a survey conducted by Panels Ltd. research institute, 39% of Israel's Jewish citizens believe that another politically motivated murder might occur in the near future. Analyzed according to religious affiliation the survey suggested that secular Israelis are more concerned than religious Israelis about another political assassination.
The memorial marking the 16th anniversary of Rabin's murder will be held this Saturday in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square after being postponed from last week due to rainy weather. We remember this great man, but have we learned our lesson?