Sunday, November 2, 2014

Yitzhak Rabin - murdered 19 years ago

Yitzhak Rabin and wife Leah in 1969
Yitzhak Rabin was murdered 19 years ago by an Israeli extremist.  Unfortunately hopes for peace were higher then than now.  The Prime Minister had signed an agreement in Oslo that seemed to present a path to peace between Israelis and Palestinians.  I drafted this editorial which was published in the now-defunct New Jersey Lawyer, Weekly Newspaper of the New Jersey State Bar Association. - gwc

Yitzhak Rabin

"Yigal Amir, the assassin of Yitzhak Rabin, was a law student.  That he claimed the law of the torah and the bible as authority shows how little he understood about the law.
We in the United States have seen other assassins, acting under vague claims of right, strike down our leaders.  Most recently ordinary citizens working for the government in Oklahoma City and at work in New York City's World Trade Center have been viciously assaulted by terrorists.
The assassins see the law only as an instrument of domination.  But the sight of Yasir Arafat, making a shiva call at the home of Leah Rabin, reminds us that the law's heart is not domination but agreement.  Yitzhak Rabin wanted to reach agreement more than he wanted to denounce his enemy.  He learned to seize upon what was positive in the adversary's initiative rather than focus on its shortcomings.  
 Agreement is the heart of peace, of law, and of democracy.  It often requires compromise of what is dear.  The courage to compromise is rarer and harder to muster than is exultation at the storm that destroys our enemies' house.  The wisdom to reach agreement was bought with all that Yitzhak Rabin had - his life.  This week, at Thanksgiving, we should recall the withered fields and the seasons of war that preceded the season of peace and accord that Yitzhak Rabin's peacemaking has made possible."

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