Yitschak Rabin's Legacy

A school principal was fired in the early years after Rabin's tragic murder for publicly disengaging from the PM's legacy though mourning his death. Here's a hard look at the subject.

Dr. Moshe Dann,

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צילום: iStock


Speaking at memorial services for Yitzhak Rabin, speakers ask us "not to forget his legacy." But, what exactly is that legacy?

Gideon Levy asks this question ("Remember Rabin for what he was: a real person," Oct 21) but notes that he lacked a social vision, and was not interested in democracy. "Rabin was a real, genuine and authentic person," Levy faintly praises. "The genuine article." Wow! 

Hirsh Goodman offers: "the idea he planted in the minds of both Israelis and Palestinians that compassion and the will to forgive were all they needed to form a bridge across decades of hatred and distrust."


Nice ideals, but practically, it led to a disaster.

Military Hero? In what battles did he display courage and leadership? He suffered a nervous breakdown on the eve of the 1967 War and posed for photo-ops with other generals. Even the Rabin Center focuses on his "times," rather than his military career.

Strategist? How?

Tolerance? He dismissed Israelis who opposed his policies as "propellers," spinning for nothing?   

Diplomacy? In what way?

The Oslo Accords? The creation of a pre-Palestinian state, broken agreements and ongoing incitement and terrorism?

"Land for peace"? Israel gave up territory, but did not get peace – or thanks, or even recognition.  Was his legacy a naïve belief that terrorists can become friends, and trusted, and that Israel should do whatever America tells her to do?

Lack of honest answers is the reason why Rabin memorial ceremonies were poorly attended. Myths, like perfumes, don't last when confronted by reality.

If Rabin's legacy was to compromise, most Israelis are ready and willing – if the result is an end to the conflict, real peace and security. If his legacy was commitment and self-sacrifice, we are there.

But "Rabin's legacy" has become an opportunity to demonize religious Jews, particularly those who live in Yehuda and Shomron, to bash "the settlers," sinat hinam, to challenge Zionism and splinter our delicate ethos.

As long as the Left uses Rabin's murder in their war against the Right, they prevent closure and healing. The thousands of memorial candles that were lit in memory of Rabin, also represented those who were murdered by Palestinian terrorists.    

Shalom haver makes no sense unless there is Shalom haverim.