LEST WE FORGET
Shalom everyone. Last week on November 4th, we remembered the murder of Yitzhak Rabin, the 5th Prime Minister of Israel, who was killed by Yigal Amir, an Jewish Israeli in 1995. Today is Remembrance Day, a memorial day where Canadians stop to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. When you talk about Canada, the last thing that an average person will think about is your army. The Canadian forces are known world-wide as peace-keepers. Canada is a land based on peace- and that’s exactly what Rabin wanted. This is exactly the reason he was murdered, because he wanted peace, and people killed him.
Like all Israelis, I have studied Rabin’s life and legacy since the first grade, I learned about his aspirations for peace and about his military accomplishments. Every year, my school holds ceremonies that try to show why the next generation should not forget his actions towards peace and his will for co-existence. However; the picture that we learn about as students in school, is merely the ‘light’ or PG version of these historical events, in my opinion. As a former student in the Israeli Education System, I believe that I was misled. Yizthak Rabin was murdered by the entire extremist group that incited and wanted him out of office. Yigal Amir was the result of the propaganda and violent rallies aimed at Rabin. Photo-shopping Rabin’s face onto people in Nazi SS uniforms, burning his picture, yelling statements like “Death to Rabin”, “With blood and fire we will vanish Rabin”- these all made it possible for Yigal Amir to shoot 3 bullets into the back of our Prime Minister. This is something that everyone should understand and something that I didn’t learn as a student in school. The murder happened 4 years before I was born. My parents, my teachers remember where were they and what were they doing when they heard the news that Rabin was murdered. But even before I sat down to write this Dvar Israel, my own opinion about Rabin was very vague. Writing this made me formulate an opinion. Rabin placed violence in direct opposition to peace. This isn’t about politics- right or left wing, giving back areas of Samaria and Judea and so on. At it’s core remembering Yitzhak Rabin and his murder must be a discussion that is centered around issues of respect, humanity, and loving each other.
Rabin used the word peace as a way of life. His famous quote: “Yes to peace, No to violence” says it all. I pray that the Canadian Forces will be called upon less and less to keep peace in the world. May we remember those who paid the ultimate price for this great nation of Canada. And may we all find a way to be peaceful in our lives, and never forget Yitzhak Rabin. Shalom Chaver.