Friday, November 04, 2005

Ten Years Later

I was trying to put down some thoughts about the upcoming anniversary of Rabin's murder. QED, however, has put it better than I could have. Herewith some highlighhts (but don't miss the whole piece):

Ten Years. It seems like only yesterday we heard that Rabin had been shot. It is hard to describe how I felt, an intense disbelief, as though something other-worldly had just happened. I can only compare it, perhaps, to the stunned feeling I had on 9/11.
Yet, as the columnists and pundits waste ink and precious time arguing pointlessly "did we learn our lesson?", and ynet
waxes nostalgia over the "candle youth", I can not forget the flip side to the reaction on the part of many to Rabin's murder.

Because I remember it - it is seared in my mind no less than that day. I remember how everyone who objected to Oslo was labeled an "inciter", or at least somehow an accomplice to the murder. I remember when "We will never forgive or forget" was a slogan of the left. I remember the calls to shut down Bar Ilan, as though the entire University was somehow to blame, for being religious, or for just being a convenient target.

At my first year at BIU, I remember the dorm manager telling us in oblique language that our dorm, where Amir stayed at, may still be bugged by the GSS. I remember my father telling me about the Bar Ilan professor who answered the question "did you cry?" with "No. I was in shock", only to have the latter sentence edited out. I remember my mother, going to light a candle, telling me of a reporter who was disappointed that she did not jump with glee at the news but was saddened.

I remember, too, the widespread historical revisionism that took place. I remember the obsession with Rabin's "legacy", the near-paganic rituals that took place in his name year after year. I remember how all of a sudden, Israel under Rabin was a picture-perfect time. No suicide bombers, no "victims of peace". People remembered only the peace demonstration where Rabin was murdered, but somehow all the anti-Oslo demonstrations were forgotten, except of course those where fanatics were present, shouting "Rabin is a Traitor" and the like.

I have stated before that history must be learned in its entirety, not just what we want to know. This period is no exception.

Beautifully put. (See also Rivka Yaffa's reflections, and the responses.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


You really should tell your acquaintainces that you're blogging. There are those of in the diaspora who would be glad to read your erudite and original thoughts on a regular basis.

Avi Bernstein