Saturday, November 12, 2005

Half an hour ago I finished watching the official mass rally that marked ten years since Yitzhak Rabin was murdered. My wife and I sat down on our bed to fold some laundry together, and we started watching the broadcast somewhere in the middle of it. We were told that more than 200.000 people attended, it was very impressive and moving. Many young people could be seen in the crowd, and not all of them came to see one or more of the first- ( and world-)class artists that performed, such as Ahinoam Nini and Gil Dor, David Broza, the Fools of Prophecy ( whose performance was amazing, sung very well ; according to their website they just returned from a tour at university campuses in the US), Gali Atari, Aviv Geffen. Defintiely more interesting names than the few artists ( Ariel Zilber, who said some very nasty things about IDF uniforms; that Elbaz guy who once sang the famous "He is innocent" for Aryeh Deri when the latter was sent to prison ) who gave acte de presence at the pro-settler rallies this year. It was nice to see such a peaceful mass gathering, without any calls for refusal to enlist in the army, without any physical confrontation with soldiers or police(wo)men. Of course some of the speeches ( I only started watching when Amir Peretz spoke ) were very political, but most of them were very much to the point, touching and inspiring. Try not to be political when you are remembering a political murder. One of the best speeches was given by Justice Minister Tsipi Livni. She stressed that she did not agree with Rabin or vote for him but that the murderer of Rabin killed the Prime Minister of Israel, the state in which she lives, and that his bullets were aimed at this country's democracy, at all of us. Also Shimon Peres said some beautiful words, it almost seemed his was some kind of political farewell speech. He urged the young people to dedicate their lives to this state, to peace, and to build not only a wall against terrorists but also gates to enable cooperation with our neighbor and with the world. The biggest star, as could have been expected, was Bill Clinton, who for some reason was called "President Clinton" time and again by the MC, Aharon Barnea. If ever Israel had a true friend in the White House it was William J. Clinton, and it showed again tonight. You can see that he means what he says when he expresses his love and admiration for someone like Rabin, or his hopes for this country and the people that live here. As much as we miss Rabin - and believe me, we miss him a lot -, I am not sure if Israel does not long even more for a US President such as Clinton.

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