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Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Foreign Ministry Rabin Memorial Page - Excludes last policy address that opposed Palestinian state

{Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:

So you are in the Foreign Ministry and you and all your pals support
withdrawal and the assertion that a sovereign Palestinian state is a
fantastic idea. And you are putting together a website to memorialize
Yitzhak Rabin and want to include on the website urls linking to "Key
Speeches by Yitzhak Rabin".

One problem: the last policy speech that Rabin made opposed a Palestinian
state. It even mentioned Gush Katif as an example of holding onto

Now, the speech is available on the website of the Foreign Ministry:

But do you share this with your audience or keep it safely buried on the

For the answer to this moral/professional dilemma see below]

Yitzhak Rabin 1922-1995

4 Nov 1995

Israel Remembers Yitzhak Rabin: 1922-1995

On Wednesday, October 24, 2007 (12 Heshvan on the Jewish calendar), Israel
marks the 12th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak
Rabin on November 4, 1995.

Yitzhak Rabin: A Biography
Yitzhak Rabin, 1922-1995 - texts relating to the assassination and funeral
Yitzhak Rabin Center for Israel Studies
Biography | Moving Toward Peace |
The Assassination | A Nation Grieves
Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Page (The Knesset)
CNN Coverage of Rabin Funeral - November 1995
The Song for Peace

Key Speeches by Yitzhak Rabin
Acceptance of Honorary Doctorate from Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus - June
Signing of the Declaration of Principles at the White House - Sept 13, 1993
Signing Ceremony of the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty - Oct 26, 1994
Acceptance of Nobel Peace Prize - Dec 10, 1994
Tel Aviv Peace Rally, Nov 4, 1995

Address by Prime Minister Olmert at the Special Knesset Session marking 11
years since the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin
Madam Speaker,
Rabin Family,
Distinguished Guests,
Heads of the Security Forces,
Commanders and Fighters,
Members of Knesset,
"The certain is the every-day miracle of the gullible.
The maybe is the ashamed expression of the knowledgeable."
- wrote the poet Avraham Shlonsky
Chief of General Staff of the IDF and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's
greatness and uniqueness as a commander and statesman - as we today mark the
eleventh anniversary of his horrible murder at the hands of an evil-doer -
was his unique ability to integrate the "certain" and the "maybe": between
the solid certainty of his national and security beliefs and the
compassionate, sensitive maybe, which never undermined the certain, but
always enriched it with the humanity of an attentive heart.
On one occasion, Yitzhak Rabin told of one of the difficult moments during
which the torturous "maybe" was bound by the necessary "certain". These are
moments of heavy silences which come after making decisions to take action -
when all the others, senior officers or government ministers, get up and
leave, the door slams shut and there is only the silence in which the
commander, the leader, is left alone.
"In the great tension before the finger pulls the trigger, there is still
time to reflect alone: did we have to act? Was there another way? A thousand
thoughts in the heart of a man."
The certain is the every-day miracle of the gullible. The maybe is the
ashamed expression of the knowledgeable. And Yitzhak Rabin was
knowledgeable. He knew how to make difficult, fateful decisions and he knew
their meaning and their price - and he knew not to lie, not to himself and
not to others.
He knew how to be a leader.
His "certains" were clear: one was tied to Jerusalem. He determined: "There
are no two Jerusalems. There is only one Jerusalem. As far as we are
concerned, Jerusalem is not a matter for compromise."
Another was tied to strengthening the security of the country, an essential
condition for every step towards advancing peace in the region. "In my view,
on security," he said, "we will not give up at all." "Peace without security
has no meaning, in my opinion." And also, "As far as we are concerned,
security precedes peace."
In his speech, here in this house, on December 21, 1992, Yitzhak Rabin said,
"From this podium, I want to appeal to the Palestinians in the territories:
we want a solution to the ongoing conflict between us. Do not misunderstand
our willingness for peace. For 44 years, you have been trying to ignore
reality. See how horrible your situation is. Stop for a moment and think -
where did it get you?
Believe us, if you continue to fan the flames of hatred and terror, if you
continue to pull the trigger - it is a pity, a pity; your fate will be bad
and bitter. Consider well your actions. There is an opportunity. Take
advantage of it. We are willing. If you miss it, you will bear the
What is a pity, Madam Speaker and Members of Knesset, is that the
Palestinian disregard of the reality of their lives still continues today -
and the government of the Palestinian Authority continues to fan the flames
of hatred and acts of terror, despite the heavy price paid by the
Palestinian people, as well as the price we are paying.
In that same speech of December 21, 1992, Prime Minister Rabin said things
meant to warn the enlightened world about the danger of Islamic
fundamentalism - statements which proved to everyone to be correct on
September 11, 2001:
"Our struggle against Islamic and other terror is meant to awaken the world
which is in a coma, especially in regard to the danger of Islamic
fundamentalism. From here, we call on all nations and peoples to pay
attention to the great danger emanating from this extreme Islam. It is the
most genuine and serious danger to the safety of the world in the near
The danger of death lurks among many people, and as the State of Israel was
the first to notice the Iraqi nuclear threat, so today we stand at the
forefront of the line of fire vis-a-vis the danger of extreme Islam."
During the war we were forced into three months ago in the North against
Hizbullah - we stood at the forefront of the comprehensive struggle
currently taking place between the enlightened democratic world and the dark
world of fundamentalist Iran, which is provoking a war which views Western
culture as its greatest enemy and which strives to bring about not only our
destruction, but the destruction of Western culture as a whole.
The enlightened world has perhaps awoken, but has yet to stand up to thwart
the danger from Iran - and we are doing all that we can to make the world
take action.
Madam Speaker, Distinguished Knesset,
The murder of Yitzhak Rabin 11 years ago - by one of our own people - deeply
wounded Israeli democracy, and opened our eyes to the harsh reality: Israeli
society, despite the tremendous accomplishments of the 59 years of its
existence - is still a society being formed. Apparently, there are no
shortcuts in a society's process of maturation, which is in great part a
society of immigration.
Israeli democracy is a genuine source of pride - and yet it still must face
the threats emanating from the ongoing process of merging cultures, sectors,
parties and publics, and their varying traditions.
The Memorial Day Honoring Yitzhak Rabin must be a day of national
soul-searching - as well as a day of renewed commitment to upholding amongst
ourselves the obligation of tolerating the opinions of the other. Without
this tolerance, we cannot speak of the existence of true unity between us,
unity without which it is doubtful if we can withstand the tests put before
us by the reality of the Middle East.
It must be a day of soul-searching - because Israeli democracy is not
without its weaknesses. The fact that in the 59th year of the country, the
31st government is serving, is one of the signs of this. The fact that the
governments of Israel have tenures of an average of less than two years for
nearly 60 years is certainly an anomaly which must be remedied. This leads
not only to a confusing exchange of ministers and directors general in
government offices, which undermines the offices' work, and thwarts any
possibility of long-term planning. The changing of governments naturally
involves political bargaining, which arouses public disgust, gives politics
a bad reputation in Israel, increases the lack of trust in the ruling
systems - thus further undermining Israeli democracy.
It is true that Israeli democracy has its weaknesses - but a murderer's
bullets will not cure this weakness. We have an urgent need to make changes
in the Israeli system of government - but this must be done not by dictate,
but on the basis of broad national agreement. Just as only by broad national
agreement can Israel ratify a constitution which is so missing at this time.
We need a constitution, among other things, to ensure that the changes made
in the system of governance will not undermine the democratic and moral
basis of the regime in the State of Israel, and preserve its Jewish and
democratic nature.
Madam Speaker, Members of Knesset,
Soul-searching is obligatory also in light of the horrifying results of the
poll which determined that one in three Israelis support the granting of
clemency to the wicked murderer. A poll clearly has no practical meaning.
According to law, the murderer of the Prime Minister cannot ever go free -
and it is impossible to grant him clemency, not now and not in the future.
However, the poll has a broader educational and social meaning. It bears
witness to a most severe educational failure, and to the injury to what
should have been the natural vaccination of a healthy Israeli society. The
natural antibodies which should have ensured that the Prime Minister's
murderer would forever be left outside of Israeli society have apparently
been severely weakened. This failure among a section of the religious public
is especially worrying. 14% of this public, and I emphasize - this is taken
from the results of a public opinion poll alone - who fast during the fast
of Gedalyahu, and mourns the wicked political murder of Gedalyahu Son of
Achikam 2,500 years ago, support immediate clemency for the Prime Minister's
murderer. An additional 50% support granting clemency in the future, 25
years from now.
It is because of the immense appreciation I have for members of the
religious public in Israel that I call on its leaders not to ignore the
results of this poll, which obligates us all to soul-searching.
On the night of November 4, 1995, we vowed to ourselves, as a society, not
to forgive and not to forget, and never to allow a repetition of this
murder. This vow obligates us to act more intensely today to strengthen
Israeli democracy, first and foremost through education - but also through
legislation. We owe this to ourselves - and we owe it to the memory of
Yitzhak Rabin.
May his memory be blessed.

A letter to Leah Rabin

Bat-Chen Shahak was 13 years old when she wrote the following poem, shortly
after the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. She was killed in a
terrorist bombing at Dizengoff Center in Tel-Aviv on March 4, 1996. It was
read at special memorial service held in Oslo in November 1999.
Three shots and it's all over -
Now one talks about him in the past tense.
Suddenly the present becomes the past.
And the past is only a memory.
We are standing, crying.
We want to believe it never happened,
That it is all a nightmare.
And when we wake up the next morning - it will not be so.
Instead, we wake up to a warped reality,
Where pain is laced with hate.
We cannot digest the enormity of this loss,
And we cannot comprehend its severity...
Yitzhak Rabin's widow, Leah, died on November 12, 2000.
Former PM Ehud Barak: "After his assassination, she carried the torch in the
battle for peace."

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