Isseroff: What Remains of Rabin’s Legacy?

Isseroff: What Remains of Rabin’s Legacy?

It’s 11 years since the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Sadly, his murderer may have a better future than his political inheritors. I don’t know that I’d agree 100% with Yossi Sarid, that home-grown terrorists, such as Yigal Amir, are more dangerous than those from the outside, but it’s true that they’ve been fatal in more ways than one. We might recall, in this vein, that Baruch Goldstein’s murder of 29 Palestinians at prayer in Hebron was the first major interruption of the Oslo peace process and probably inspired Yihyah Ayyash, the notorious “engineer” of Hamas, to invent the suicide belt. The following is Ami Isseroff’s take:

Hell is indifference by Ami Isseroff

Eleven years after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by right-wing fanatic Yigal Amir, Yossi Sarid, like many of us is quietly outraged. He is outraged by the fact that 30% of Israelis are willing to pardon Amir. Killing the Prime Minister of Israel is apparently an acceptable way to change the government in their view. He is outraged by the decision to allow Amir conjugal visits with his wife, Larissa Trimbobler. Sarid is right about that. He is wrong in his conclusion, that all this poses no threat to security, because you can’t assassinate the same man twice.

You can assassinate the man, you can assassinate his legacy, and you can assassinate the society he helped create. The circumstances of the memorial ceremony held at the President’s residence provide a bitter lesson in themselves. Most government officials cancelled their attendance because they didn’t want to be seen in the company of the disgraced president of Israel, who is suspected of rape and corruption. Half the officials, beginning with PM Olmert are themselves under investigation for corruption and crimes of varying magnitude. Only one official had the decency to resign – the one accused of the most harmless offense. Haim Ramon resigned from the government because he was accused, horror of horrors, of kissing a girl against her wishes. The government remains glued to their seats despite corruption, and concludes a shameful alliance with right-wing extremist Avigdor Lieberman. The Labor party, the party of Rabin that swore to honor his memory, remains in the government, though its leader, Amir Peretz, had promissed in his usual raucous fashion that he would never sit in a government with Lieberman. Only Ofir Pines-Paz resigned.

It is all made possible because of cosmic indifference and ennui. Corruption, incompetence, a miserable economic policy, a botched war, the IDF pounding away pointlessly in Gaza, killing innocent Palestinians as well as a few terrorists, none of these seem to shake the indifference of the public. Rabin’s legacy, the legacy of his generation, is being killed more by indifference then by opposition and assassin’s bullets.

Not everyone is indifferent. A much smaller, but growing, number of people, those who would pardon Yigal Amir, know exactly what they want. They want a government of Yigal Amirs. They want a state and a Zionist movement founded on religious principles. They use the corruption and incompetence to make their point – that only religion can save Israeli society from mediocrity and disintegration. One day they may be the majority, and then the bored and indifferent ones will no longer be be bored or indifferent, but it will be too late.

As I walked around Rabin Square a day after the assassination, I had the feeling I was living in a nightmare. We haven’t really awakened since then. We just got used to it. Hell is indifference.

Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

By | 2006-11-03T05:23:00-05:00 November 3rd, 2006|Blog|0 Comments

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