Rabin heritage, or assassination memorial?

Friday, November 03, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Tomorrow marks 11 years since the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. Because Rabin’s memorial day lands on the Sabbath, several events were held in the days leading up to Nov. 4 and several groups used the opportunity to create dialogue and bring reconciliation.

According to a recent poll, 47 percent of Israelis believe Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza created the largest rift among Israelis while Rabin's assassination comes in second at 38 percent.

Around 3,000 people from both religious and secular backgrounds attended The 10th National Day of Dialogue at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, on Wednesday.

"I am pleased to hear that there is a chance to break down barriers...after the murder there was big distance between religious and secular communities," said Aderet Rosenberg, 22, a religious Jew.

She believes the division of religious and secular before the assassination was a problem waiting to happen. "It was the straw that broke the camel's back," she said, of the murder.

Olga Melamed, a self declared atheist, said the talks allowed her to hear new thoughts and ideas, but that she found it difficult to connect with the religious students in her school.

"In school, I felt a little embarrassed to be around others as I did not empathize with them," she said.

A third of the public believes Yigal Amir, Rabin’s convicted assassin, should be pardoned. The assassination is still mired in controversy to this day, with several theories that Rabin was not killed by Amir for rightwing reasons. Several books allege that the Israeli secret service faked an attack on Rabin in Tel Aviv, because he had become rather unpopular at that time due to the Oslo agreement. A failed assassination attempt would have helped Rabin’s popularity. Other theories allege that his death was planned by political opponents.

One documentary presented evidence that a third bullet pierced the shirt and undershirt of the Prime Minister after his jacket had been removed , indicating that one of the bullets which killed him was fired from the front. The ballistic and forensic evidence suggest strongly that someone other than Yigal Amir fired at least one shot, and possibly all of them.

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