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Today Israel marks the 14th anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, the quintessential Zionist. Rabin was a tireless servant of his people as a soldier and diplomat. He was one of the greatest Jewish military leaders in our 3,000 year history, defender and liberator of Jerusalem, as well as an international hero of peace. He was, regrettably, one of the last of a generation of leaders who displayed unbending rectitude and personal integrity. He resigned his post as Prime Minister over a $3,000 bank account and lived modestly.

To those of us who were part of Israel or the Zionist community from the time of the Six Day War, Rabin was a father of our country. Nobody who heard it can forget Rabin's honorary doctorate acceptance speech in the newly liberated amphitheater of the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus following the Six Day War. Nobody who lived through those times can forget his courage in the dark hours preceding the Entebbe rescue, or his integrity in assuming responsibility for the failure to rescue Nachshon Waxman. In his public and personal life and example, Yitzhak Rabin personified in every way the new proud Jew that Zionism strove to create.

But even if Yitzhak Rabin had been just an ordinary politician and an ordinary leader, it is a Zionist duty to honor his memory and mark the anniversary of his assassination. The main issue in the assassination of Rabin was the act itself. It not about this or that issue, not about settlements, or territories or peace. It was an act beyond all those petty considerations, an act that must never be repeated.

Rabin was murdered by a moral degenerate, Yigal Amir, who did not understand the meaning of Zionism or democracy. The murder of Rabin had the potential, and still has the potential, to kill not just a man, but to kill Zionism, to rend asunder the precious fabric of national unity that was forged in the hell of Europe and the trials of the British Mandate. That unity was perhaps the main achievement of the Zionist movement, without which no other achievements would be possible, a wondrous achievement noted by Theodor Herzl in Herzl's opening speech to the first Zionist Congress.

Rabin showed Zionism and Israel to the world as we want to see ourselves, a nation worthy of respect and admiration. Yigal Amir showed what we can become if we take the wrong path.

History cannot guarantee success. A democratic nation or group, functioning as a united entity, may make fatal errors, or it may be the victim of circumstances beyond its control. However, history can guarantee failure. A nation of Yigal Amirs who take the law into their own hands, who change leaders by gunfire as it is done in certain other countries, who decide which laws and which army orders will be obeyed and which will be flouted, is no longer a nation, and no longer has any chance of achieving anything.

It is up to us to decide, if we want to continue, not in the "path of Rabin" necessarily, but in the path of Zionism, the path of unity that was inaugurated by Theodor Herzl or if we want to follow the path of Yigal Amir, and return to the quarrelsome and ineffectual public life that characterized ghetto Judaism, the path that leads to perdition. There is room within Zionism for all political opinions, but those who refuse to unite in honoring our fallen national hero are not expressing a political opinion within Zionism. Rather, they are casting themselves outside the Zionist endeavor entirely. If we allow it, they will destroy us.

Ami Isseroff



Original content is Copyright by the author 2009. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000722.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: 5 Comments

Rabin represented, embodied and manifested a CONTEXTUAL shift few, in life, achieve. He went from adversarial politics to collaborative politics, as did Anwar Sadat. And they were both killed by a mentality that would rather commit suicide, than embrace the possibility of shaking hands with your enemies. Amir should rot in hell, or be put through a re-education program until he breaks apart and realises the mistake he made. ANd then he should be hung slowly.

microsoft certifications, Wednesday, February 3rd


I have to disagree. You cannot legitimate evil. You cannot arm thousands of terrorists. You cannot give up the Jewish homeland without sundering Zionism. Rabin did all those things and harmed the unity of the nation, its security and its hopes for peace with its neighbors. He does not deserve the honor the Far Left forced upon the rest of Israel and all good Zionists should take no part in agreeing that the fruits of the Oslo debacle he fathered was "good.

exam 70-536, Tuesday, February 2nd


I honor Rabin as a leader during the Entebbe rescue but after that he appeared to be pandering to the "displaced jordanians". I think that a Yitzak Shamir is a better example of a leader who remained a strong Zionist.

Steve Fabian, Friday, November 6th


Rabin represented, embodied and manifested a CONTEXTUAL shift few, in life, achieve. He went from adversarial politics to collaborative politics, as did Anwar Sadat. And they were both killed by a mentality that would rather commit suicide, than embrace the possibility of shaking hands with your enemies. Amir should rot in hell, or be put through a re-education program until he breaks apart and realises the mistake he made. ANd then he should be hung slowly.

Philip Clement, Wednesday, November 4th


I have to disagree. You cannot legitimate evil. You cannot arm thousands of terrorists. You cannot give up the Jewish homeland without sundering Zionism. Rabin did all those things and harmed the unity of the nation, its security and its hopes for peace with its neighbors. He does not deserve the honor the Far Left forced upon the rest of Israel and all good Zionists should take no part in agreeing that the fruits of the Oslo debacle he fathered was "good.

NormanF, Saturday, October 31st


Constructive comments, including corrections, are welcome. Do not use this space for spam, publishing articles, self promotion, racism, anti-Zionist propaganda or character defamation. Inappropriate comments will be deleted. See our Comment policy for details. By posting here, you agree to the Comment policy.

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