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Today is the anniversary of the assassination of PM Yitzhak Rabin according to the Hebrew calendar, and it is commemorated as a national day of mourning.

Eleven years after the event, many Israelis have apparently trivialized it. Polls show that 30% of the public believe that the assassin, Yigal Amir, should be pardoned. To me it is incredible. Suppose that Rabin, or another Israeli Prime Minister, had been assassinated by an Arab. What percent of Israelis would be in favor of pardoning that Arab, or freeing him in a prisoner exchange? Suppose that Itzhak Shamir had been killed by a deranged leftist, or Menachem Begin had been murdered for returning Sinai to Egypt, would anyone support pardoning the murderer? It is not so far fetched. A "Zionist" Web site in New Jersey claims that Menachem Begin was a Bolshevik dictator. Do any of these people who wish to pardon Yigal Amir, support freeing the murderer of Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi? Wouldn't it be abominable if left-leaning Israelis supported freeing the murderer of Ze'evi because they disagreed with Ze'evi's political program?

The notion that it is permissible or pardonable to kill a Prime Minister of Israel is bizarre. If we are concerned for the legitimacy of our state, we must be adamant in demanding elementary respect for the persons of our elected officials.

However, Yigal Amir did more than kill a politician and head of state. Nobody knows what Yitzhak Rabin would have done to stop the rapid and tragic devolution of the peace process had he lived. But it certainly wrong to sum up all of his life, for better or for worse, as "Oslo accords."

Rabin's life of quiet service to the state and unsung bravery and heroism should be an example to today's quick fix politicians who refuse to take responsibility and try to sweep problems under the rug. When Rabin's wife was discovered to have a bank account in the United States, he resigned from office, a singular act of political courage and rectitude that was unheralded at the time.

In many ways, Rabin personified everything positive about Israel and Zionism. If there is really going to be a campaign to "brand" Israel and Zionism, and give them a positive image, Itzhak Rabin should be the poster boy for that campaign, just as Winston Churchill personified Britain for many years. Like Churchill, Rabin was resolute in war, magnanimous in victory and defiant in defeat. But Rabin was a poor man's democratic Churchill. The quiet slow-spoken man of action in shirt-sleeves and open collar, who always told it as it is and as he saw it, in outspoken Sabra-type colloquial Hebrew, and who never shrank from making unpleasant decisions, was Mr. Israel in the flesh. Those who vilify Rabin because he was willing to give back territories for peace should remember that were it not for Rabin, Israel would probably not have had those territories.

Yigal Amir didn't just assassinate Yitzhak Rabin. He assassinated a part of Israel. Those who want to pardon him are those who don't believe in Israel.

Ami Isseroff

Original content is Copyright by the author 2006. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000280.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

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Replies: 3 Comments

for a jew to kill another jew because he doesnot agree is not our way.rabin was prime minister who was elected by israel.disagree then vote him out we have to be better then the world or we are not jews

leslie hulkower, Thursday, November 2nd


ELIE, Thursday, November 2nd

Yitzhak Rabin was also a gunner in the massacre of Organists on the Altelena and during his tenure as Prime Minister he fired large numbers of embassy and consulate employees for the "crime" of subscribing to the wrong ("right wing") publications ie. The Jewish Press. I am not talking about ambassadors or diplomats but even chauffeurs, maids , and the like. In short the atmosphere of mistrust and hostility were created by him and his followers. NOw to the assisination itself there are a lot of unanswered questions ie. that tourists vidiotape where a bodyguard was heard shouting do't fire back he is only shooting blanks (and the fact that when investigators wanted to question this individual he was found shot dead execution style in his apartment). How long it took for the limo to reach the hospital and how did Yigal get so close (inside the security zone as well as various other points.

Michael Sternberg, Thursday, November 2nd

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