Today marks the twenty-first anniversary of the date when Yitzchak Rabin, the Prime Minister of Israel, was assassinated. He had just attended a peace rally in Tel Aviv when a young, right-wing fanatic took it upon himself to assure that Rabin would not pursue the peace that was so important to him.
Still peace with its Arab neighbors, and with the Palestinian population, remains a distant hope. But we join with the people of Israel in affirming, as Rabin did, that peace is yet possible.
I can hear his accented voice as he spoke the following words:
“Here, in the Land of Israel, we returned and built a nation. Here, in the Land of Israel, we established a State. The Land of the prophets, which bequeathed to the world the values of morality, law and justice, was after two-thousand years, restored to its lawful owner-the members of the Jewish people. On its land, we have built an exceptional national Home and State.”
“We will not rest until we reach a permanent agreement (with the Palestinians) that would secure a safe future for our children, and that would provide us with renewed hope to live in a region where people lead a life of cooperation and not, God forbid, where blood is shed.”
“No Arab ruler will consider the peace process seriously so long as he is able to toy with the idea of achieving more by the way of violence.”
“For me, Jerusalem was united, will be under Israel sovereignty, and will be the capital of Israel and the heart of the Jewish people.”
“We’ll fight terror like there’s no peace, and make peace like there’s no terror.”
Especially on this day of rest and peace, let us give honor to the life of Yitzchak Rabin by holding fast to his vision, not only of Israel at peace, but a world healed of all that drives us to war with each other.
Rabbi David Greenberg