MembersWhere Were You When He GOT SHOT?

Revisiting Rabin and considering what memories seared into us might be telling us today

By David Shishkoff | | Topics: Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
**FILE** Portrait of Yitshak Rabin. Rabin was an Israeli politician and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–1977 and 1992 until his assassination in 1995. Photo by nati shohat / Flash90 *** Local Caption *** ?????? ????? ???? ???? ??? ????? ???? ?????? Photo: Nati Shohat/Flash90

You know how certain memories stay with you? Especially tragedy, but also ecstasy.

I can still remember sitting on a sofa bed in a Mt. Carmel neighborhood glued to the TV screen in September 1993 as Israel Prime Minister Rabin signed a peace agreement with Arafat.

As a 23-year-old immigrant brand new in Israel, I had barely begun to absorb basic Israeli realities – reserve duty, politics, terrorism and wars. But the optimism in the air was compelling, beckoning people to override their other intuitions, fears and doubts, and hope against hope that a brand new day was dawning in Israeli relations with the Palestinians. The next memory I have of Rabin is when he GOT SHOT. Tragedy seared the memory into my neurons while his assassination put a damper on the tail-end of my wedding engagement party in the coastal town of Netanya on the evening of November 4, 1995. After the music, dancing and food were finished we heard the rumor and quickly huddled around a TV to watch the news coverage.

I recently picked up a biography of Yitzhak...

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