Saturday, November 12, 2005

Yitzhak Rabin

Tonight's the tenth yartzheit of Yitzhak Rabin, Israel's great man of peace. Had Rabin lived would Arabs and Israelis be any closer to real peace? Could he have overcome the deep divisions of Israeli politics and worked with a dysfunctional and recalcitrant Palestinian partner? Aaron David Miller says yes. We agree.

It was mincha time, Shabbos afternoon, in America when I found out Rabin had been killed. I don't know who brought the news to shul, but I remember even the JDL guy was shellshocked. He hated Rabin, but couldn't quite wrap his mind around the fact that one of his own had pulled the trigger. I didn't own a TV in those days. Instead, we put the radio on, and all we heard was one famous person after another calling into the station to express his grief. This went for hours.

Later that week I had what might have been my first online argument -this was 1995 remember - on one of the old AOL message boards. I can't remember which side I took, or what we fought about, but I imagine it was me against some fire-breathing rightie who was too happy for my taste. A lot of people were happy. Still, I remember that the smartest, most principled right winger I knew - that old JDL guy from shul - refused not just to smile, but even to accept the news.

Other Rabin notes from around the blogs.... Shira Schmidt (who deserves so much more than Cross Currents) shares a quote from a Klausenberger Hasid who thinks small; Mike spins a yarn we sort of enjoyed; the neither timid nor loathsome Joe Schick argues that Rabin's death, in fact, saved Oslo; Orthomom mourns; and Gene from Harry's Place has a very wise retrospective. Also of interest: The video of the assasination [CNN] taken from a balcony overlooking the alley behind the square where he sang his last song, and some other clips.