Rabin remembrance takes a hit
This past week has seen its share of bad news for Jews and the entire world.
First, we marked the 10th anniversary of 9/11 under the dark cloud of cryptic reports that another attack may be eminent.
Then the Israeli embassy in Cairo was attacked.
Turkey threatened to send naval ships to escort vessels bound for Gaza.
The U.S. embassy in Kabul came under Taliban attack.
It just goes on and on.
Amid all this bad news, let us note one more piece that deserves to be reported: The annual rally in Israel marking the anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin will not be held this November for the first time in 16 years.
Rabin, you will recall, was the Israeli prime minister who shook hands with PLO leader Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn in 1993 following the signing of the Oslo Accords, ushering in what many believed (wrongly as it turned out) to be Middle East peace at long last.
A Jewish extremist assassinated Rabin on Nov. 4, 1995, while he attended a peace rally at Kings of Israel Square (since renamed Rabin Square) in Tel Aviv.
According to Dalia Rabin, daughter of the late prime minister and chairman of the Yitzhak Rabin Center, financial constraints and the yearly decrease in attendees, forced the cancellation of this year’s event.
Also, Rabin Square, the site of the event, is being renovated and could not have hosted this year, but surely another site could have been found.
This bit of news really hurts.
Rabin and his time as prime minister reflected a period of hope. Whether you supported or opposed the Oslo Accords, there at least seemed to be real movement toward lasting peace.
That hope was shattered by Arafat’s rejection of a generous peace proposal at Camp David, a second bloody Intifada, War with Lebanon and Gaza, and now an Egyptian street calling for an end to that country’s peace with Israel.
These are bad times, indeed.
We believe people cannot live without hope. In it absence there’s no motivation to strive for something better.
So we hope some way can be found to resurrect the rally. In a time of such uncertainty Israelis, indeed, Jews and non-Jews the world over, need all the hope we can get.