Nov. 4 is the 20th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin’s murder, and I’m told that Oct. 25 is his yahrzeit (this anniversary according to the Hebrew calendar). In a post at the Ameinu site, I evaluate Rabin’s time in office, including his one critical error of omission — not forcibly evicting extremist settlers in the area of Hebron following Baruch Goldstein’s mass murder of Palestinians there in 1994. And I cite one bad mistake of commission by Shimon Peres as his immediate successor — unleashing a hornets’ nest by authorizing the killing of an important Hamas operative during a time of quiet. Yet I also argue in “After 20 Years, Rabin’s Leadership Still Sorely Missed,” that if he had continued in office, Rabin would likely have led Israel to a viable two-state peace with the Palestinians, sparing Israelis and Palestinians so much grief that has followed his death.
Among the many ways that this sad anniversary is being observed is an Israeli Channel 2 television documentary, “Rabin: In His Own Words” — to broadcast Nov. 4. It includes a 1976 interview in which Rabin, during his first stint as prime minister, likens the Gush Emunim settler movement to a “cancer,” and warns of “apartheid” if the settler/annexationist right has its way. (Click here for the Times of Israel article about this film.) This film will also screen on Nov. 4 at the Manhattan JCC (and perhaps other locations in the US); for tickets and info about this New York presentation, click here.
And I intend to listen to a special episode of Ira Glass’s NPR program, “This American Life,” by clicking here. The webpage introduces this original Oct. 16 radio broadcast on the Rabin assassination with this question, “did this act change the fate of the nation?” My answer is a resounding “yes”!