Twenty years ago Yigal Amir an Orthodox Jewish extremist changed the course of history when he shot Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in the back;
But the seeds that fueled his passion for supremacy began germinating on 10 March 1948 in a Tel Aviv house that was painted red.
By Eileen Fleming
As Israel descends into a new wave of violence, the arts and entertainment industry reflects on the loss of Rabin in a new book, “Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and The Remaking of Israel”, by Dan Ephron and a new film, “Rabin: The Last Day”, by Amos Gitai.
On Wednesday, November 4, Amos Gitai took the stage at the Charles Bronfman auditorium in Tel Aviv at 8:30 p.m. and reminded the packed hall that at nearly the exact same moment 20 years earlier Rabin was fatally gunned down at a peace rally celebrating a potential peace with the Palestinians with the signing of the Oslo Accords.
Gitai echoed the narrative held by many left-wing Israelis that it wasn’t just Rabin who died that night but the dream of peace and said:
“This movie is not an intimate film. It is a movie that I did for a generation of Israeli citizens who love this place but are very worried about the things that have been passed down to them.”
Gitai’s film opens with a never-before-seen interview with Israeli President Shimon Peres, who stood just a few feet from Rabin on that fateful night and immediately succeeded him as prime minister, is unwavering in its opinion. If Rabin had lived, Peres tells Israeli actress Yael Abecassis in the interview, there may not be peace, but the situation would undoubtedly be brighter than it is today.
“Rabin: The Last Day” capped off a week of Israeli media events commemorating the death of Rabin, which impacted Israelis as much as the Kennedy assassination and 9/11 did for Americans.
Dan Ephron served as Newsweek’s Jerusalem bureau chief for two decades and in “Killing a King” the American details Rabin’s assassination by Yigal Amir, who was then a 25-year-old law student.
Amir has spent the past 20 years in jail but he began stalking Rabin when the prime minister shook hands with Yasser Arafat, on the White House lawn sealing the Oslo Accords in 1993.
On 4 November 1995, Amir attended a peace rally in Tel Aviv along with 100,000 supporters of peace with Palestine and fired three rounds at Rabin as he was exiting the event.
Yigal Amir’s brother Hagai was an accomplice and has been convicted for conspiracy to murder Yitzhak Rabin, for planning attacks against Palestinians and for various weapons charges.
On 27 April 2006, Hagai Amir was also convicted for threatening to have then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon killed. On 4 May 2012, he was released from prison and rearrested on 28 October 2015 after writing at Facebook that “the time has come for Rivlin and the Zionist state to pass from this world due to the crimes they have committed against their people, and that day is not far.”
Hagai Amir added, “Rivlin is a kiss-up politician. He won’t decide whether or not my brother is released, only God can decide, just as God decided that Rabin would die – even though Rivlin and his friends didn’t agree.”
Author and former CNN Mid East Bureau Chief, Jerry Levin wrote at Facebook:
Rabin was a Zionist-thug who with complicit help from the Clinton Administration was able to lure Arafat with the prospect of indigenous power if he would come home to lead what was to be essentially a puppet so-called “Authority” –an unhappy puppet Authority to be sure but puppet nevertheless.
This arrangement ensured the continuation of the “piece process:” the dismantling of a contiguous Palestine exemplified by the fact that Rabin never stopped building settlements.
Rabin was killed by Zionist thuggish zealots further to his right (and let’s not pretend that due to his faux epiphany he had moved to the left) who were furious at the pretense of the Clinton version of the so-called “peace process.”
Those Jews who applauded his murder wanted the Palestinian “threat” eliminated by an official policy that endorsed and enforced their concept of total Palestinian nonexistence — sooner rather than later.
Rabin on the other hand, a wolf in sheep’s clothing political realist, clearly agreed to the phony Oslo-Clinton path because it was, under the circumstances, the most expedient way of achieving the same goal, but later…
He was murdered because the actual “piece process” that he had cleverly conspired to enshrine was simply not going to happen soon enough for the even more violent Zionists to his right.
On 13 November 1995, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, the head of Yeshivat Har Etzion [commonly known as “Gush,” a Hesder Yeshiva Israeli program which combines advanced Talmudic studies with military service] told his students that Amir had grown up “in the best of our institutions. A day before the murder, he could have been cited as a shining example of success and achievement, and a source of communal pride [but if] a day before the murder we would have said proudly, ‘See what we have produced,’ we must say it now as well – ‘See what we have produced!’”
Warren Bass wrote for Haaretz that Dan Ephron’s tense, stern book reminds us that Yigal Amir was not a wild weed. He was a hothouse flower.
This reporter learned of a red hothouse that germinated such flowers in 2007, at a lecture in Jerusalem by Professor Ilan Pappé who said:
On March 10, 1948, eleven men had a fateful meeting in the Red House headed by Ben Gurion. The eleven decided to expel one million Palestinians from historical Palestine. The Red House in Tel Aviv is gone now, today a USA Sheraton Hotel stands in its place. The Red House was the home of the Hagganah…
No minutes were taken, but many memoirs were written about that fateful meeting. A systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestine began and within seven months the Zionists managed to expel one half of all the Palestinian people from their villages and towns.
The New York Times followed Israeli troops and reported the truth of the expulsion and separation of men and women, and of the many massacres.
The world was well informed in 1948, but a year later not a trace was reported in the USA press or books. It was as if nothing ever happened.
From March to October 1948 the USA State Department stated what was happening was a crime against humanity and ethnic cleansing.
When ever one ethnic group expels another group they should be treated as War Criminals and the victims should be allowed to return. This is never mentioned in the USA about Palestine.
Israel is so successful in their ethnic cleansing because the world doesn’t care! The ethnic cleansing continues via the apartheid policies of the Israeli government and because of the denial of the truth by the USA media.
To claim Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East is bullshit!
The Six Day War of 1967 escalated the ethnic cleansing and today in Jerusalem every Palestinian who fails to pay taxes, or has a minor infraction will loose their citizenship.
In 1948 the mechanism of denial and ethnic cleansing as an IDEOLOGY, not a policy but a formula began.
When Zionism began in the 19th century it was meant to be a safe haven for Jews and to help redefine Judaism as a national movement, not just a religion. Nothing wrong with either of those goals!
But by the late 19th Century it was decided the only way these goals could be achieved was by ridding the indigenous population and it became an evil ideology.
Israeli Jewish life will never be simple, good, or worth living while this ideology of domination, exclusiveness and superiority is allowed to continue.
The mind set today is that unless Israel is an exclusive Jewish State, Palestinians will continue to be obstacles. However, there has always been a small vocal minority challenging this. The only thing that can save Palestinians is for the world to say ENOUGH is ENOUGH!
The way to challenge and change the ethnic cleansing is to pursue true democracy and the use of sanctions and divestment, for money talks.
On 26 October 2015, at a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted the anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination stating:
“These days, there is talk about what would happen if this or that person would have remained. It’s irrelevant; there are movements here of religion and Islam that have nothing to do with us.” Netanyahu then turned to opposition MKs and said: “You think there is a magic wand here, but I disagree. I’m asked if we will forever live by the sword — yes.”
“Live by the sword, die by the sword” is a saying of Jesus regarding the karmic effect that if you use violence against others, you better be ready to have those same means used against you.
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