The Rabin Assassination: 12 Years Later and in Perspective

Professor Steven Plaut writes about Maariv columnist Nadav Haetzni and his [Haetzni’s] recent piece wrote which seems to bring the Rabin assassination back from overblown leftist fervor and into some perspective;


Nadav Haetzni is hands down the best columnist and commentator in the Israeli mainstream press. He writes in Maariv, the only Hebrew newspaper having a real semblance of political pluralism.

Unfortunately, Haetzni writes almost always only in Hebrew. He is a prominent lawyer and is the son of longtime activist Elyakim Haetzni. This past weekend Nadav has a superb article in Maariv. It is a bit long to be fully translated here, but let me give you the gist and sum it up for you. (Some of what follows is my own opinion – for Haetzni’s own text see Maariv October 26, although unfortunately it is not on their web site.)

Entitled “Assassination is Relative,” it begins by noting the obsessive overkill in the annual ceremonies about the Rabin assassination on the anniversary of the murder. The death of Rabin has been turned by the Israeli media into an event that dwarfs the Holocaust and the splitting of the atom. In the same annual rituals, the Left and its captive segments of the media smear the “Right” and demand that the entire country rededicate itself to the “Rabin Political Legacy,” meaning the implementation of the Rabin policies of appeasing the “Palestinians” and capitulation to what Haetzni calls the Ramallah gang. Amir killed one Jew; Rabin’s policies have killed about two thousand and placed Israel’s very survival in jeopardy.

The media contain endless pieces denouncing Yigal Amir, who is the actual murderer of Rabin (in spite of what the obsessive liars and mental defectives from the “conspiracy theory” cult say). They demand that he be denied conjugal rights with his wife, unlike the Arab terrorists in Israeli prison, some of whom have murdered dozens of Jews. Demonizing Amir is the default option of the cowardly media, too pusillanimous to take any serious position or to ask any serious question about the Oslo “peace process” or the “Road Map.”

“What would have happened had the assassination attempt against Olmert succeeded?”

But compare this with the indifference of the same Left and its media to the near-assassination of Olmert, says Haetzni, news of which was released in recent days. Where Abu Mazen, Olmert’s favorite Palestinian “moderate,” released some terrorists from the resort the press calls the Palestinian Authority’s prison. These then were armed and making their way to kill Olmert when they were apprehended. Olmert will now reward Abu Mazen for the murder attempt on himself by appeasing the Ramallah gangster some more in Annapolis. Haaretz almost buried the story of the assassination attempt in its cheery reporting of how desperately Abu Mazen and the PLO want peace.

That is of course not the only attempted murder or murder Abu Mazen’s people carried out. Just this past week a murder of a Jew next to Ariel was carried out by the same people. Abu Mazen’s house media continue to run Nazi-like inctement against Israel and Jews.

Haetzni asks what would have happened had the assassination attempt against Olmert succeeded? Would the Israeli media imitate what it does with Rabin? Turn him into a demigod? Organize annual events in which Olmert’s legacy is celebrated? Or would it immediately demand that dialogue be held with the people behind the assassination? After all, one can only make peace with the one-time terrorists and assassins!

Would the Left and its fellow travelers insist that the sponsors of the assassination are the only true peace partners? The only candidates for conducting dialogue? Haaretz would turn itself into a single-issue propaganda sheet – demanding that dialogue with the assassins is the only way to peace, for there are no military solutions. Shimon Peres would grant clemency to the assassins, the same way he is about to do so with Marwan Barghouti.

So assassination is a relative thing, concludes Haetzni. It is only cause for soul searching and rededication to a political legacy when Rabin is involved. Any other killing of a Prime Minister would be reason to brush the death aside and move on with the appeasement!

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