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Last Updated: Friday, 4 November 2005, 14:18 GMT
Press weighs Rabin legacy
Israeli Press

Ten years on, Israeli papers assess the legacy of assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In one commentary, fellow Labour Party stalwart Shimon Peres says Mr Rabin had been a politician unafraid to take risks for the public good.

Other comment sees his fate as symbolic of Israel's tragedy and as a warning that change is not effected by the bullet. Two papers use the occasion to round on Mr Rabin's right-wing opponents.

Labour leader and Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres in Yediot Aharonot

Rabin bequeathed to us a model of politics at its best. Politics whose essence is serving the public, serving the state, service that will influence coming generations. Rabin's legacy to the state in those years was courage, respect and equality... Rabin the man will not return, but his legacy will stay with us as long as there are citizens in the State of Israel who fight for it. The murder took us back but it cannot stop the wheels of history.

Commentary by Amnon Rubinstein in Maariv

It is not only because of the murder that Rabin symbolised the tragedy of Israel... In an ordinary state he would have become an agronomist - a private man, a family man, a man with few friends. But the circumstances of Israel's war for existence forced him when he was a teenager to harness himself to Israel's wars... This is an Israeli tragedy that is typical not only for him: thousands of young people who could have dedicated their lives to arts, science or the profession they love, instead find themselves in army uniforms and many of them end their young lives in uniform on the battlefield.

Commentary by Nadav Haetzni in Maariv

In democratic countries, revolutions do not happen by means of bullets. Rosa Parkes and Martin Luther King succeeded in changing views in the US at a time when bones in their camp were broken and without even lifting a finger. The way to deal with politicians who break the rules is not through violence. It could include disobedience and even non-violent civil disobedience. But throwing stones at officers and certainly shooting leaders always leads to disaster and defeat. As the deeds of Sharon's family become graver and the blood pressure rises against them, it is extremely important to bear this important lesson in mind.

Commentary by Uri Elitzur in Yediot Aharonot

Rabin was for me a bitter political enemy. I took part in stormy demonstrations against him. I sat in a professional team that sought every possible means to shake his credibility, carried posters denouncing him, and I do not think that I should regret any of these things... But I believe that you should not say 'traitor' or 'murderer' about a prime minister.

Editorial in Haaretz

On the 10th anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, it would be appropriate to adopt the most practical lesson from the murder and finally bring the state's full authority to bear on right-wing outlaws who threaten the country from within. For more than 30 years, the religious right has been making a laughing stock of law and democracy, overpowering heads of state and cabinet ministers one after the other.

Editorial in English-language Jerusalem Post

For all Rabin's mistakes, they dwarf in comparison with the conduct of some of his opponents. Their failure back in the 1990s to keep the debate civil was politically catastrophic from their viewpoint, and morally corrupt from any viewpoint. Their nonchalant, even gleeful, resort to the basest rhetoric and depictions surely created an atmosphere conducive to Rabin's murder.

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