Rabin ceremony 311.
(photo credit: GPO)
The climate in Israel is ripe for acts of political violence, a former top aide
of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin told The Jerusalem Post on
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Eitan Haber, Rabin’s media adviser and bureau chief at the
time of his assassination 16 years ago, said that “if these thugs continue doing
the things they’re doing and no one takes them seriously and puts them in
prison, we could absolutely see more violence happen.”
Haber’s words came
as Israel marked the 16th annual Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Day, held to commemorate
the anniversary of the late prime minister’s assassination at the hands of Yigal
Amir following a pro-peace rally in Tel Aviv on November 4, 1995.
was asked in particular about recent “price tag” attacks, including an incident
in which unidentified persons wrote, “Rabin is waiting for you” in
the stairwell of the Jerusalem building where Peace Now official Hagit Ofran
Haber was a long-time friend of Rabin and gained prominence as a
journalist and author. He is perhaps best-known for issuing the official
government announcement of Rabin’s death.
In an iconic video clip, Haber
can be seen surrounded by reporters and bystanders reading the words “The
government of Israel announces in dismay and great sadness and sorrow the death
of prime minister and minister of defense Yitzhak Rabin, who was murdered by an
assassin tonight in Tel Aviv.”
According to Haber, the leadership of Israel has strayed a
long way from the vision of Rabin.
“I see the leadership of the country
and I see Bibi [Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu] as being very far from the
principles of Rabin and the twostate solution,” he said.
Haber did offer
praise for Netanyahu’s predecessors, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, saying Sharon
“was willing to withdraw from Gush Katif and evacuate all of the settlements
there [in 2005] without batting an eye at the settlers,” and that Olmert
“supported the principles of Rabin in talks with Abu Mazen [Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas].”
He said the Israeli public still
supports the vision Rabin was pursuing at the time of his death and that only a
small, vocal minority hold an opposing view.
“The way I see it, the path
that Rabin started about 20 years ago is supported by almost everyone except for
some people in the settlements who believe that God is with them.”
also said that if Rabin’s life had not been cut short, Israel’s relations with
its neighbors could very well look entirely different.
“I refuse to guess
what would have happened, but I like to believe that if he were alive today, we
would have long ago made peace with Syria, Lebanon and the
Rabin’s long-time friend and colleague added that for him,
the annual Yitzhak Rabin memorial day has no special purpose.
need a memorial day, because every day of the year is a memorial day for me.
Every day I wake up or read the paper I think what if he was here, what would he
do in this situation or another. I don’t need a day to set aside for this each