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Rabin's Legacy: 11 years after - Hell is indifference

11/02/2006

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.

Ami Isseroff

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Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000530.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

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Replies: 2 comments

The sentiments expressed here hit the nail on the head! We are witnessing the "amoralization" of Israeli society. The indifference to the Rabin assassination is on the rise as the memory of that terrible night 11 years ago recedes into the mists of time. The increase of support for Yigal Amir's pardon for his despicable crime is rising. Now it is 30%. Next year the percentage of support for Amir's release will rise.

In the meantime, we are being blessed with a government that is bereft of conscience, taking on strange bedfellows at all costs of the likes of Avigdor Lieberman, the arch Arab-hater, in order to preserve a coalition. Even Amir Peretz has capitulated to Lieberman! What has happened to Peretz, the social democrat aspousing human and worker's rights, not to mention the rights of minorities? He has sold out to a diabolical human being in a diabolical coalition of mediocrities, many of whom are under suspicion of police investigations.

Posted by Shimon Z. Klein @ 11/05/2006 03:35 PM CST

Should the international community treat the current Israeli government as they do the Hamas lead government? The two governments share in their extremeist perceptions as well as their methods of securing their goals. Just because the Hamas lead government uses terrorist tactics that are not officially deemed government sanctioned actions and the Israeli government uses justifications to carry out military actions against their foes, does that make one better than the other? Personally I would fear the group that sanctions their agressions and is defiant to the international community. The fact that a large group of Israelis feel that it is ok to murder one of Israels great peace activists who also happened to be the president is very frightening. It also gives validity to the argument that a great number of Israelis are not interested in peace and seek to carry out an ethnic cleansing on the Palestinian people. This attitude sets a very dangerous precedence on many levels. The future of Israel may be filled with mob initiated assasinations and factional wars if this trend is continued, which of course could lead to the deterriation of the Israeli state. It seems at this moment that Iran, Syria, Hamas, and Hizbollah are not Israel's greatest enemies, but Israel itself.

Posted by OMFG @ 11/06/2006 06:51 PM CST


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