Bintel Blog

Controversy Over Rabin Memorial

By Nathan Jeffay

  • Print
  • Share Share

There’s something of a tug-of-war developing over the annual anniversary rally for assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Thousands of people gathered in Tel Aviv on Saturday night for the event, 14 years and a week after he was killed (it was delayed because of the rain last Saturday).

Attended by politicians from three of the five biggest Knesset factions, Labor, Kadima, and Likud, it was seen by some as the coming-of-age of an event that was once a show of strength of the traditional peace camp. Likud lawmaker and education minister Gideon Saar declared from the podium that rightists have been “pushed out of the mourning tent for too long” and said that the time has come for everybody to mourn Rabin together.

Saar sees the county, and the event, as nationalizing Rabin’s memory, some see this as a cop out. Voices from the left are claiming that making the rally less political may make it more inclusive, but say that it’s coming at a cost of Rabin’s legacy.

The veteran peace activist Uri Avnery, who passed messages between Rabin and Yasser Arafat before contacts were out in the open, wrote ahead of the rally that Rabin will “turn in his grave.”

He wrote: “The main speakers will be two of the gravediggers of the Oslo agreement, Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak, as well as Tzipi Livni and Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, who belonged to the forces that created the climate for the murder.”

Avnery’s closing line was: “Will I be there? Not me, thank you very much.”

Unlike Avnery Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy went along and was deeply unimpressed. He penned this highly critical article, in which he asked:

Whose speech was emptier, that of Shimon Peres or Ehud Barak? Maybe Tzipi Livni’s? It’s hard to tell. It was a tight match, in which the winner will have to be determined on points. Finally, the president won. “Those who despair do not win and those who win do not despair,” Peres said, adding that an imperfect peace is better than perfect war. He also said that peace is made when there is no peace. Finally, he said the next year will be the year of decision, like they say every year.

Ynet published a similarly biting piece about the rally by Ziv Lenchner, in which he writes that:

The rally at Rabin square deserves the following definition: A public show of support for the commandment “thou shalt not murder.” It is indeed a matter of some public importance, but nothing beyond it. The rally is no more than a slogan-filled ceremony with little significance espousing obvious values that any sane person would endorse, sort of like a similar ceremony at school.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Titzhak Rabin, Tel Aviv

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.